Talk Health and Care

Shared Values

Rosemary Smart
Rosemary Smart | Sep 14, 2018 | in Getting the basics right

For me, the key to an effective, high performing teams, is where there are a set of shared values. These aren't plucked from the air or copied from other organisation but developed from shared understanding and input from everyone. Take an afternoon out and brainstorm with all staff as to what they want the organisation to be known for and as. Create a list of values. Reflect on them, revisit them and understand how they will shape the culture of the organisation. Consider how to communicate these to your patients, your service users, your customers and commissioners. Embed them into your recruitment practices and build your appraisals around them.  

Sam DHSC Sep 18, 2018

Thanks for sharing this Rosemary. Is this something that you'v seen working in your place of work? If so, what were the values you agreed on?

We'd be very interested to hear more.


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Rosemary Smart Sep 18, 2018

Hi Sam

Yes it is. We got everybody together and asked everybody to suggest what they felt our values should be. We set the context against an ever changing health and social care landscape with the need to be doing things differently, and asked staff to consider what we should be known for by patients, by potential employees, by other health care professionals, and by our commissioners. It became immediately clear that there were lots of shared and common values. We decided on Respectful, supportive, accountable and responsive, and have agreed we will regularly review these to see if they need to be expanded on or changed at all

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Matt Hancock Sep 25, 2018

Dear Rosemary,

Thank you for your interesting and helpful comments. I agree with you entirely and believe that strong management and leadership are key to embedding good values in the workplace, as well as having a truly positive impact on staff and the care we deliver to our patients. It’s true at all levels.

I know that doing this right can be hard when staff are busy, but it can be so valuable, especially when people are under pressure.

I’m keen we welcome talented leaders and managers with good ideas into the health and social care sector, wherever they come from, and we announced earlier this month that we’ll soon be expanding our graduate management scheme, just one of the rich sources of great leaders for the sector. You can read more about that here -

We’re also currently looking at the adult social care workforce in England and will be considering a number of options for improving the training and professional development of leaders and managers; I’ll feed your idea in.

I would love to hear more from you about how our organisations can be better led and make the value-based, transformative changes that our patients expect to keep delivering a health and social care system we can all be proud of.

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Rosemary Smart Sep 25, 2018

Hi Matt
Thank you for reading my post, and responding. I do feel very passionately about authentic leadership being key to high performing teams. I spent several years working for a management consultancy which helped organisations grow and develop their leadership talent pool, before changing career to follow my passion for the health and social care sector, so a definite area of interest for me. I read the speech you gave at Southmead hospital, and wholeheartedly agree that to make large scale change it will be through the harnessing of great leadership with technology. I also think we really need to look at developing career opportunities and roles which are not only fit for today, but which are future proof too. This is a real challenge, as it is difficult to change roles if the infrastructure or the culture isn't changing at the same speed. Of course within health and social care, there is the additional challenge of how to contain any risk whilst embarking on a change journey. This is in my humble opinion what will help to build a robust health and social care provision.

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Matt Hancock Oct 8, 2018

Thanks again Rosemary – it’s always fascinating to hear how people came to work in health and care and great to see talented people from outside the sector using their expertise to follow their passion. You’re absolutely right that there are risks involved in any change, but I’m confident that we can overcome those risks together. Please keep sharing your ideas.

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