Building a shared purpose and vision

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

Free tools and guides

Journal articles, reports and research

Case studies

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: