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Anne Watkins and Bertha Matunge
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Leading, Creating and Sustaining Safe Cultures of Care Programme


Florence Nightingale Foundation is offering a new leadership programme to equip nurses and midwives with the knowledge, skills, and tools necessary to establish, nurture, and maintain a robust culture of safety within their teams and organisations. 

The imperative of creating and sustaining safe cultures of care in healthcare has been starkly highlighted by a series of deeply troubling reports and investigations. Collectively, these investigations provide a sobering reminder of the fundamental importance of safe cultures of care. They advocate for healthcare environments characterised by strong leadership, open and honest communication, relentless pursuit of safety improvements, and an unwavering commitment to patient welfare. 

Fostering a culture of safety in healthcare relies on cultivating authentic leaders who champion psychological well-being, prioritise employee welfare, and foster an environment where concerns and issues are openly discussed and effectively addressed throughout all levels of leadership. Leaders are responsible for not only achieving goals but also nurturing an environment where individuals can thrive and grow. A strong leader inspires and empowers their team, leading by example, fostering trust and collaboration, and championing a culture of continuous improvement.

FNF’s new ‘Leading, Creating, and Sustaining Safe Cultures of Care’ programme underscores the significance of effective leadership in a specific context: the creation of safe and caring cultures within organisations. 

Over the course of three days, this programme aims to equip participants with the knowledge, skills, and mindset necessary to lead, create, and sustain cultures that prioritise safety, care, and well-being.  By focusing on these critical aspects of leadership, this programme not only benefits individual leaders but also provides an opportunity for far-reaching impact on the entire organisation. 

The programme will enable participants to:

  • Recognise the critical role of leadership in promoting and maintaining a culture of safety.
  • Acquire skills to effectively lead safety initiatives, including communication, decision-making, and team building.
  • Learn how to foster a blame-free environment that encourages reporting of errors and near misses.
  • Understand how to emphasise learning from errors to drive continuous improvement.
  • Develop confidence to speak up, even in difficult or high-pressure situations.
  • Learn about the concept of psychological safety and its importance in enabling individuals to voice their concerns without fear of negative consequences.

Read more details of the three-day programme below.

Participants report the “life changing” leadership experience of an FNF programme, and its professional and personal impact. 

The Basics

We will be running this programme as both an ‘open programme’ and a ‘commissioned programme’:

  • An ‘open programme’ means set dates with applications open to individuals.
  • A ‘commissioned programme’ means an organisation commissions us to work with a group of your workforce (min of 20 people) and we can discuss best dates and location.


London (for commissioned programmes we can come to you).


The next ‘open programme’ will be autumn 2024.


The cost is still tbc. Join the waitlist to find out more once this is finalised.

If you have any questions please contact [email protected]

Full Programme Structure

The Leadership programme will be undertaken over three days and includes:

Day 1

Introduction to Safety Culture

On Day 1, participants will explore the fundamental principles of safety culture within healthcare settings. The sessions will cover key elements such as leadership commitment, just and restorative culture, human factors, and continuous improvement. Participants will also learn about the historical context and lessons from notable healthcare failures, providing a clear rationale for prioritising safety in their own practices.


  1. Describe safety culture and its importance in healthcare and other disciplines/industries.
  2. Understand the importance of leadership visibility, commitment, and accountability.
  3. Describe the key elements of a Just Culture framework, including system design, accountability, and learning.
  4. Define the various dimensions of human factors, including cognitive, social, and organisational factors.
Day 2

Creating the Foundations for Safe Cultures of Care

On Day 2, participants will delve into the essential building blocks required to establish a robust safety culture within their working environments. Attendees will learn about core elements such as leadership role, building psychological safety, speaking up and raising concerns, and nurturing a culture of continuous learning. The sessions will highlight the importance of these components in fostering an environment where patient safety is prioritised and integrated into every aspect of care. By the end of the sessions, participants will have a clear understanding of how to lay the groundwork for a culture that supports and enhances safety at all levels of their organisation.


  1. Explain the benefits of psychological safety, including improved team performance, innovation, and employee well-being.
  2. Explain how leadership behaviours impact team dynamics.
  3. Describe the attributes of a culture of learning in health and care.
  4. Explain how to encourage staff to embrace a mindset of continuous improvement.
  5. Describe the critical role of speaking up.
  6. Define initiatives and policies that support speaking up without fear of reprisal.
Day 3

Implementing and Sustaining a Safety Culture

Day 3 focuses on the practical aspects of embedding and maintaining a safety culture within healthcare teams / organisations. Participants will learn effective strategies for translating theoretical concepts into actionable initiatives that drive sustained improvement. Through interactive discussions, case studies, and hands-on activities, attendees will explore the key steps involved in implementing safety practices, reframing failure, decision making and bias and overcoming common challenges. These sessions will also address the importance of ongoing evaluation and adaptation to ensure the longevity and effectiveness of safety initiatives.


  1. Describe the concept of a growth mindset and its role in dealing with failure
  2. Define strategies for embracing failure, such as reframing, self-compassion, and resilience
  3. Describe the psychology of decision-making, including cognitive biases and the impact of environmental factors
  4. Identify decision-making tools and techniques that can help participants make more informed decisions.
  5. Develop strategies and skills that assist leaders in having Difficult Conversations
Ongoing and post-programme support

Throughout the programme, interactive activities, using current case studies, and group discussions will foster engagement and ensure participants leave with actionable strategies for building and sustaining a safety culture in health and care.

Additionally, post-programme support and follow-up assessments will be offered to track progress and address and reflect on any challenges that arise in implementing safety culture improvements.  We also encourage participants to self-organise co-consulting groups.

You will also join the FNF alumni community and receive ongoing networking and leadership development opportunities through events, webinars, media engagement and policy thought leadership.

Application Process

We are not yet accepting applications for this programme. Please join the waitlist to be kept updated.

What you will need to demonstrate in your application form:

Upon application, you are required to upload the following information:

Please note before application:

Programme Details