Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust prides itself on being one of the first NHS organisations to introduce a Restorative Just and Learning Culture. For them, this means an environment where they put equal emphasis on accountability and learning when something has not gone as planned. So we ask, what happened? Not, who is to blame?

As part of their work, they introduced a Civility and Respect workstream group who were asked to develop a framework that aligned to Trust values and fostered and supported civility in practice.

In the following video you can watch Lois Newitt HR Strategic Lead For Community and Local Divisions at Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust discuss the important work within Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust regarding the role of civility and respect in restorative practices.

In this video, Lois discusses the actions of Mersey Care regarding civility and respect and restorative just cultures such as creating and supporting respect and civility work streams, the development of a comprehensive training plan and triangulating data sources to measure and evaluate the impact of these. Lois also discusses the ‘Respect and Civility Jigsaw’ and the ‘Respect and Civility Booklet’ that are just some of the tools and frameworks that Mersey Care have developed as a way of empowering staff to challenge miscommunication, reduce hurt and always choose civility and respect and a positive culture.

This also includes a discussion around the Social Partnership Forum’s Call to Action, which Executive Director of Workforce Amanda Oates and Staff Side’s Chris Sullivan has signed, pledging to choose Respect, Civility and adopt a positive culture.

The Mersey Care NHS Civility and Respect Jigsaw

The Mersey Care NHS Civility and Respect Jigsaw
The Mersey Care NHS Civility and Respect Jigsaw

Designed by the civility and respect working group at Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust, the civility and respect jigsaw is a working tool that is designed to empower staff to challenge miscommunication, reduce hurt and always choose civility and a positive culture. The respect and civility jigsaw describes both positive and negative behaviours that we may have experienced, witnessed, or demonstrated ourselves towards others. You can download the puzzle and guide here

The green side of the jigsaw describes what respectful and civil behaviour looks like; the red side describes what disrespectful and uncivil behaviour looks like. The following is a suggestion for how you can use this with your teams:

  • Point out the questions in the middle of each side… Do you? Have you seen? Have you experienced?
  • Ask for views from the team, you can support discussion with open questions or your own observations “I’ve noticed… I feel that…”
  • Are we all green as a team? Is this how we do things here?
  • How well do we practice the behaviours on the green side of the jigsaw?
  • Are there any areas we could get better at as a team? What can we do more of to be great at this?
  • How consistent are we at practicing the behaviours in the green zone?
  • Which areas on the red side have people witnessed or experienced, even as a one off?
  • How easy is it to challenge negative behaviours?
  • What do we need to do more of or less of to reduce the behaviours on the red side of the jigsaw?
  • How could we ensure that we flourish as a ‘green’ team?
  • What are your ideas for how we use this tool to regularly check in?

As a team, consider each of the green jigsaw pieces and agree some practical ways that the team can implement these. These could be used to develop a team charter or team operating principles or team ground rules.

In this short video you can listen to Jennifer Cooke from the Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust Community Mental Health Team as she describes what it is like to work with the puzzle to manage negative behaviours in the workplace.

Applying Civility and Respect in Your Organisation - Reflective Questions

If you are interested in applying the approach of Mersey Care NHS FT to your organisation, consider the following questions and use your answers to reflect on and develop your organisations current approach:

In which ways does work surrounding civility and respect feature in the systems, practices and processes of your organisation?

  • How does this look like at the team, service and organisation level?

  • In which ways can you see this work impacting on the inter-relations between staff members?

  • If your organisation does not have a current focus around civility and respect in your systems, practices and processes, in which ways do you see this impacting on the inter-relations between staff members?

  • How does this look like at the team, service and organisation level?

  • In which ways could you see the work that Mersey Care Foundation Trust has developed around civility and respect adding value to your organisation and in which ways/level could this be done?

  • In light of the national people plan highlighting the ambition for civility and respect for all employees, what reflections have you got from Mersey Care’s experience and what are the lessons/considerations you could apply to your own organisation as part of your overall restorative just approach?