In February, we launched our Creating Our Culture programme in response to feedback from our staff that they wanted more to be done when it comes to how we treat each other.
Over 1,200 members of staff, people who use our services and their carers took part and told us about the values that matter to them. Through conversations, workshops and surveys we listened and took on board all their feedback to create a new Values and Behaviours Framework.
Values and behaviours we want to see
Our values are kindness, respect and together. The new framework sets out the behaviours we want to see under each of these values and the behaviours that our service users and their carers should hold us accountable to.
Download: Values and Behaviours Framework (PDF)
This new framework will sit alongside and strengthen our current five commitments - you will see them embedded throughout – and give staff the confidence to call our poor behaviours before they can turn into more serious incidents of bullying and/ or harassment.
Bringing it to life
We will now begin to embed the framework throughout our Trust to bring it to life. It will flow through our policies; our Beyond Bullying guides (now named Respectful Resolution); our recruitment and onboarding of new staff; our training; and our appraisal system.
Everyone is responsible for making a positive contribution to our culture, but we also know that culture change needs to be lead from the top. That is why throughout October and November we will be holding Leading with Values workshops for 250 managers and aspiring leaders.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Creating Our Culture?
Together, we will define the behaviours that underpin our values and create our new values and behaviours framework.
These behaviours will strengthen our culture by giving us a set of standards that we as members of staff should uphold ourselves to. They will be clearly shown throughout South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust as our new ‘values and behaviours framework.’
We will give staff the tools, training, and confidence they need to speak up when they feel these behaviours are not followed and embed the new framework into the organisation at every level. It will not just be a poster on the wall that we point at. The framework will be rooted in our HR processes, policies, our appraisals, supervisions, recruitment, and our onboarding of new staff.
The new values and behaviours framework will also strengthen the service and care that we provide to our patients. Through a series of special workshops, we will be hearing directly from them on what a good and bad day in our care looks like. We will also ask what behaviours staff could have shown to improve their experience in our care and we will conduct an analysis of patient complaints and compliments to help identify behavioural themes. All this data will feed into the new framework.
Why are we doing this?
Many of you will have been involved with helping to develop Aiming High; Changing Lives our new strategy, which was formally launched with five ambitions on 30 September 2021.
We launched the Creating Our Culture programme for two reasons:
- Patient Experience and Safety Culture
- Staff Experience
Evidence shows that happier staff at work deliver better patient outcomes and improved levels of safety within teams. This has been proven through academic research and practical programmes for a number of years and is, in a healthcare setting, promoted by such groups like Civility Saves Lives and The King's Fund
Almost all excellence in healthcare is dependent on teams, and teams work best when all members feel safe and have a voice. Civil work environments matter because they reduce errors, reduce stress and foster excellence.
Hostility and rudeness, on the other hand, reduce team functioning, clinical decision making and patient outcomes. Incidents of rudeness and incivility not only affect the victim but also those around you – time is spent worrying if that could happen to them and there is also a decrease in willingness to help others.
Staff consistently tell us that they want more to be done when it comes to how we treat each other.
Through Listening into Action over 1,500 people, staff, community members, patients and carers shared what is important to them to help transform mental health services at the Trust. One of main areas staff said they wanted to see improved was our culture - this is reflected in our five strategic ambitions, one of which is ‘building a culture of trust.’
In the annual NHS Staff Survey (March 2021 results), despite marginal improvements, we have consistently underperformed compared to other mental health trusts in many of the areas that reflect culture. It is a priority for us to change this and the Creating Our Culture programme helping to engage with our staff and positively change our culture.
Speaking up is the hardest part, how do we call out these poor behaviours?
During the Creating Our Culture workshops, staff were taught how to speak up safely using the BUILD method of feedback. We are now preparing to roll out this training to all staff so they are empowered to give feedback and call out behaviours we don’t want to see.
How does this fit with our five commitments?
This new framework will sit alongside and strengthen our current five commitments - you will see them embedded throughout – and give staff the confidence to clearly call our poor behaviours before they can turn into more serious incidents of bullying or harassment.
How has this been created?
The new Values and Behaviours Framework has been created with the direct inputs from over 1,200 staff, service users and carers who took part in a Creating Our Culture workshop or filled in the culture survey. Staff, service users and carers during these workshops were asked what values and behaviours matter to them and this is the culmination of those responses (you can read the full report here).
How will it be embedded?
Once we have launched the framework, we will begin to embed it throughout the organisation to bring it to life. This means that we will ensure it flows through:
- Recruitment and onboarding of new staff
- Training by introducing e-learning on how to call out poor behaviours. We will be training managers and aspiring leaders in October and November
- The upcoming work on Just and Restorative Culture