A tool developed by leading nurses to identify whether a workplace is suffering from a poor culture could be extended and rolled out across the NHS, according to a report on its early use.
The “cultural barometer” was developed by a group of six leading nursing figures that came together in 2011 to call for major improvements in the profession in response to a growing number of cases of poor care, as previously reported by Nursing Times.
They identified a common thread in the reports – that the culture meant staff could not or would not speak up when things were wrong.
The tool, which is based around a series of questions designed to prompt staff to talk about the culture of care in their organisations, has subsequently been piloted at three trusts.
“The barometer is designed to kick start conversations about culture within organisations”
Anne Marie Rafferty
The Culture of Care Barometer (see PDF top-right), an evaluation report on the tool, was published last week at a nursing conference organised by the NHS England London region.
It said the barometer had received a “positive reception” at the pilot sites and that other trusts were “enthusiastic” to embrace it as soon as possible.
“From our discussions with trusts, there seems a strong appetite for using the barometer,” said the report.
It concluded that the barometer added value to existing tools such as the NHS staff survey and Friends and Family Test.
The next steps will involve developing a smartphone “app” and piloting its use in a range of groups and settings, said the report.
The barometer aims to add value to existing metrics, acting as an early prompt to measure the “care culture” in organisations across the country
It is also intended to act as a catalyst for conversations so that problems can be nipped in the bud, help managers ensure that staff are feeling valued, satisfied and able to raise concerns if necessary, and help staff get a better a grasp of the reality of patients’ experiences.
Professor Anne Marie Rafferty, the lead author of the report from King’s College London, said: “The Culture of Care Barometer is designed to kick start conversations about culture within organisations.”
Caroline Alexander, chief nurse for London, added: “The aim of these conversations is to ensure that staff can provide good care to patients, that patients have a good experience of their care and staff feel valued, satisfied and able to raise concerns when necessary.”
- Nursing Times’ launched the Speak Out Safely campaign in 2013, which encourages organisations to support their staff in raising concerns about care or safety.