The ‘Creating Caring Cultures’ resources are based around a model in the form of a rainbow because like rainbows, it is difficult to see/find the beginning or the end of culture change. The model has been developed using our experiences over a number of years of working with health and social care teams and our theoretical understandings of practice development (McCormack, Manley and Titchen, 2013) as an approach to enabling change and transformation in people and their practice.

The rainbow model is created using six colours – each representing a different intention or focus:

  • Explore values and beliefs and agree a shared purpose
  • Look at what is happening in practice and identify gaps between what we say and what we do
  • Develop action plans through shared decision making
  • Enable team working and staff well-being
  • Commit to learning in and from practice
  • Celebrate success and continue momentum

The seventh colour represents the fact that culture change is a continuous process that needs to be facilitated, preferably by clinical leaders.

Whilst we suggest that you ideally start with exploring values and beliefs, the model is not intended to be prescriptive or linear. It may be more appropriate for you first to spend some time talking to staff, understanding their experiences, helping to promote engagement and enhance their well-being. The model is intended as a guide and each team will find their own way of using it.

In the following sections, we will talk more about culture, explain the model in more detail and give you ideas about how you might use it to get started.


When we use the term ‘patient’ in these resources, we are also referring to service users and residents.

When we use the term ‘staff’ in these resources, we are referring to anyone who is involved in providing care and/or services.


McCormack, B., Manley, K. and Titchen, A. (2013) Practice Development in Nursing and Healthcare. Chichester: Wiley Blackwell.

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Programmes based on Creating Caring Cultures

Find out about FoNS’s programmes for organisations based on the Creating Caring Cultures model

Creating Caring Cultures Programmes