Many healthcare providers continue to report incidences of bullying, harassment and conflict in the workplace with incidences of unprofessional behaviour still being recorded. Mindful of the impact that these issues can have on the working environment and patient care, many NHS service providers are now adopting a zero tolerance approach.
The RCM campaign
The Royal College of Midwives’ Caring for You Campaign aims to improve RCM members’ health, safety and wellbeing at work so they are able to provide high quality maternity care for women and their families. Their keys aims are to:
- promote a positive workplace culture
- adopt a zero tolerance policy to bullying or undermining behaviours
- nurture a compassionate and supportive working environment.
- provide staff with access to support to promote physical, mental, health, safety and wellbeing
At the RCM’s Annual Conference in Harrogate (Oct 2016) we delivered a lively and interactive training session surrounding values and behaviours. Following detailed research and using the familiar concept of reflective practice, professional actors and skilled facilitators delivered a drama based training session that encouraged delegates to explore their own and their colleagues values, beliefs and behaviours.
The link between inclusive leadership competencies and patient outcomes has been well documented and as a result of recent research, the Care Quality Commission has introduced a more rigorous inspection framework. With the prime focus of inspections being patient care, the CQC has identified 5 lines of enquiry requirements surround the strengthening of leadership and culture
- inspiring vision – developing a compelling vision and narrative
- governance – ensuring clear accountabilities and effective processes to measure performance and address concerns
- leadership, culture and values – developing open and transparent cultures focused on improving quality
- staff and patient engagement – focusing on engaging all staff and valuing patients’ views and experience
- learning and innovation – focusing on continuous learning, innovation and improvement.
These areas will form part of the inspections carried out by the CQC which must be evident if an organisation is considered to be “well-led”.
The initiative is driven by the Care Quality Commissions inspection framework which places a particular importance on leadership and equality. Negative behaviours become deeply engrained within an organisation over time and can negatively affect staff and patients alike. Tackling such issues can be tricky but raising awareness amongst onsite teams is the first step to positively changing workplace culture.