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Just Culture Leadership

Date: 04 July 2019

We have recently added a section on People First which explains Just Culture, which is about creating a culture of fairness, openness and learning in the NHS & enabling colleagues feel confident to speak up when things go wrong, rather than fearing blame.

Supporting colleagues to be open about mistakes allows valuable lessons to be learnt so that the same errors can be prevented from being repeated. The NHS Improvement guide is a powerful tool in promoting cultural change in seeking to avoid a blame culture. 

We have reviewed with union colleagues the approach taken to case referrals under the disciplinary policy and we are adopting the principles of “Just Culture” as part of our initial consideration of whether issues of alleged conduct should be investigated under the Policy. 

The Just Culture guide asks a series of questions that help clarify whether the issue is cultural to the environment/context in which the individual works, in which case singling out the individual is often unfair and counter-productive. 

It helps reduce the role of unconscious bias when making decisions and will help ensure all individuals are consistently treated equally and fairly no matter what their staff group, profession or background. 

Colleagues in Quality have been working with stakeholders to review and adapt relevant SOPs and training packages to reflect the consideration of Just Culture and Human Factors considerations. 

In the meantime, you may wish to take time to review resources available via NHS Improvement including a short video which can be accessed via YouTube.

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