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Fair and Just Culture

‘Fair and Just Culture’ is a cultural shift we are promoting within our Trust to ensure that we are operating the safest and most transparent working environment possible.

Why is actively promoting a ‘Fair and Just Culture’ important?

Actively promoting a 'Fair and Just Culture' is important, because previously within the NHS and many other organisations that deal with risk, an emphasis was placed on the problems that instigated an incident and the people or person involved rather than the solutions to rectify the problems encountered.

So what is a 'Fair and Just Culture'?

From a Mersey Care perspective, it’s an environment where we put an equal emphasis on accountability and learning. It’s a culture that instinctively asks in the case of an adverse event "what was responsible, not who is responsible". It is neither finger-pointing nor blame-seeking. That said a 'Fair and Just Culture' is not the same as an uncritically tolerant culture in which anything goes - that would be as inexcusable as a blame culture.

How is a 'Fair and Just Culture' fostered?

We’ve learnt from industries like airlines, nuclear technology, oil and exploration and (some) healthcare providers in the US, all of which go about their daily business knowing there is always an element of risk.

We believe that a 'Fair and Just Culture' is not just an ideal but a methodology and we are fostering it within our organisation. Working closely with our experts by experience to achieve this; moving away from a culture that focuses on the problem rather than the solutions to rectify the issue at hand.

What’s the feedback so far?

There is obviously much work to do with this yet, but the overwhelming feedback from people we have spoken to about this is that they very much like the initiative.

It’s right on a human level – that we do things in a just way not just for our staff but also for our patients, carers and their families. But also from a wider perspective it’s right for us as a Trust to learn from adverse experiences so we can improve how we do things for the better.

To find out more about our 'Fair and Just Culture' initiative please contact us at PerfectCare@merseycare.nhs.uk