What this looks like in practice
- Create a vision and shared purpose in an inclusive and transparent way ensuring meaningful input from all, including those with lived experience. The executive leadership of the organisation must drive this work, but it cannot be designed and created by one team.
- Involve communities and people with lived experience as partners in the design of the vision and shared purpose.
- Find ways to ensure the vision and shared purpose are lived everyday by its people and are underpinned by core values.
- Ensure all improvement work is focused on the shared purpose and vision and question any work which does not align to these. Start by focusing on the current NHS priorities and pressures your organisation is facing.
- Set a powerful purpose-driven context for improvement work so that people are more likely to engage, based on commitment to the purpose, rather than compliance with a process.
- Understand the world in which frontline staff are working, their challenges, their successes, and the improvement they’d like to see to guide this vision and shared purpose. Methods of co-design and collaboration like crowd sourcing platforms or running engagement events can be used. Understand the current Care Quality Commission well led scores and where there are areas for improvement.
- The shared purpose and vision should allow staff to understand the importance of their work and to see it from the service user’s perspective. Celebrate and share good practice where possible.
Guidance and resources
Courses, workshops and events
- Improvement Academy training courses, both virtual and online, focus on helping health and care staff to improve the safety and quality of care in everyday practice.
- Connect with leaders across the UK navigating the opportunities and complexity of leading change through health and care systems – Learning and Improving Across Systems Peer Learning Programme – NHS Confederation.
Free tools and guides
- The Model Health System is a data-driven improvement tool that enables NHS health systems and trusts to benchmark quality and productivity. By identifying opportunities for improvement, the Model Health System empowers NHS teams to continuously improve care for patients – Access QI Improving planned care pathways toolkit – Healthcare Improvement Scotland
- Quality Improvement Essentials Toolkit – Institute for Healthcare Improvement
- Aim Statement Worksheet – Institute for Healthcare Improvement
- Inspiration Library – Leadership Academy
- The Model Health System – NHS England
- Co-design toolkit – New South Wales: agency for Clinical Innovation
- NHS performance tracker – Nuffield Trust
- Using online patient feedback to improve care – Point of Care Foundation
- The Change Model Guide – NHS England
Journal articles, reports and research
- Healthwatch is an independent consumer champion for health and social care services. They can help facilitate meaningful engagement and gather patient feedback to shape a shared purpose and vision.
- Learning on the role engagement and communications play in partnership working and developing thriving integrated care systems – Building common purpose – NHS Confederation
- The improvement journey: This report outlines why organisation-wide improvement in health care matters, and how to get started – The Improvement Journey – Q Community
- Developing principles for working across local systems: The Q Communty’s five principles for working across local systems to develop shared improvement approaches – Developing principles for working across local systems – Q Community
- Browse an expanding evidence base for the NHS about how to improve quality and safety in healthcare – Research Outputs Archive – The Healthcare Improvement Studies (THIS) Institute
Examples of this happening in practice:
Leeds Teaching Hospitals and Yorkshire Ambulance Service
Leeds Teaching Hospitals and Yorkshire Ambulance Service developed a shared purpose and vision for their work on maintaining a lower number of ambulance handover delays resulting in faster response times for the local population.
The realisation and identification of a shared purpose engaged a wider range of people to share the problem and look for solutions. This enabled the wider team to relocate more patients and reduce the handover times.
The shared purpose allowed everyone across the hospital and the ambulance trust to feel connected to the ‘front door’ issue and to take shared responsibility for finding solutions. This joined up working radically reduced ambulance hand over times. In January 2023, their sites achieved 99.6% and 99.9% of handovers within 1 hour.
Joined Up Care Derbyshire
Joined Up Care Derbyshire (JUCD) sets out a vision of working with local authority, NHS, Healthwatch and voluntary sector organisations to improve the health of the people of Derby and Derbyshire.
This ethos is reflected in specific programmes of work, such as JUCD’s work as part of the National Opioids Improvement programme:
- The creation of the following vision statement which was co-designed with stakeholders guided the work: “To support people to live well with chronic non-cancer pain whilst minimising the harm from opioids.”
- A shared purpose outlined why the work was important: “To work together as a system across Derby and Derbyshire to deliver improvements in pain management that both enhance the care of people living with chronic non-cancer pain and reduce the harm from opioids.”
Further case studies to demonstrate building a shared purpose and vision: