Creating Caring Cultures Pilot Projects

How it started

We believe that nurses practice with the intention of giving the best possible care and through our work at FoNS regularly see fantastic examples of caring, safe and compassionate nursing practice. There are also times when patients experience care that is not at its best and there are also occasions where significant failures in the delivery of health and social care have occurred. Whilst these examples of poor care are not representative of all health and social care, they do highlight factors, which if left unresolved, can lead to deterioration in care. These factors are often complex but can be succinctly described as relating to the nature of places where care is delivered, the process or way care is delivered and the values, attitudes and behaviours of the people who are part of care giving. In essence, all these factors make up the workplace culture of health and social care and if we want to assure the quality, compassion and effectiveness of patient care, then finding ways to create and sustain caring workplace cultures is paramount.

Reviewing the aspirations of health and social care providers, it is clear that creating environments that deliver care that is effective, caring and compassionate is a top priority. Achieving this is not easy or quick, indeed, change implemented at pace with only the endpoint or outcome in focus will have limited success. Working systematically with people (staff, patients and families) and values in practice settings is much more likely to challenge and alter workplace and practice culture thereby enabling care, compassion and person-centredness to flourish; especially when aligned with and supported by corporate strategy.

In 2012, FoNS commenced two pilot projects, focused on workplace culture. The Creating Caring Cultures Programme (with support from NHS London) has a simple purpose; helping nurse-led teams to create healthcare workplaces that are conducive to the delivery of high quality care and that provide a supportive place for staff to work. In caring cultures, staff feel valued and are more able to take responsibility for what happens in practice. Patients and families experience effective, compassionate and safe care that is centred on their needs. Whilst the purpose is a simple one, achieving a successful outcome is more complex. The intention of the programme was not to work at scale across whole organisations but rather to work at ward/clinic/unit level where the need for change was acknowledged and a commitment to working differently was demonstrated. The pilots took place at the West Middlesex Hospital on a medical ward and on the medical assessment unit at Queen’s Hospital, Romford. Both areas were supported over two years.

Insights into developing caring cultures – a review of the Experience of FoNS

For many years, FoNS has been at the forefront of nursing innovation and has supported projects in settings across health and social care. FoNS was awarded an Improvement Grant from the NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement to evaluate and harness important learning from its work with these nurse-led multi-professional teams around creating more effective and person-centred cultures. The final report and an Executive Summary is available to download below.

Insights into Developing Caring Cultures: A Review of the Experience of The Foundation of Nursing Studies – March 2013

Insights into Developing Caring Cultures: A Review of the Experience of The Foundation Nursing Studies – Executive Summary – March 2013

In this section
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