Changing Culture Award
Developing a positive safety culture award

A positive safety culture is defined in the NHS Patient Safety Strategy as one where the environment is collaboratively crafted, created, and nurtured so that everybody (individual staff, teams, patients, service users, families, and carers) can flourish to ensure brilliant, safe care. This is achieved through continuous learning and improvement of safety risks; supportive, psychologically safe teamwork; enabling and empowering speaking up by all.

Cultural change must be considered an institutional endeavour and therefore must include everyone from the board to frontline and support service staff. This category recognises organisations where cultural change has driven clear acceptance and belief that patient safety is the responsibility of all staff. Judges are looking for organisations implementing a supportive culture where errors can be voiced, and staff feel free to speak up and raise concerns without fear.


Entries are open to all NHS and public sector organisations where cultural change has had a significant effect on safety.


  • Describe the cultural context of the organisation and any relevant recent history in terms of cultural dynamic.
  • Detail how different departments engaged with the cultural transformation, and any board-level buy-in that supported this.
  • Outline the goals set, and what measures were put in place to achieve them.


  • Evidence that the organisation now has patient safety embedded at the heart of operations, and that staff and patients are heard, with concerns being acted upon.
  • Provide supporting testimonials from staff and patients.
  • Show clear improvements in patient safety across the organisation, supported by quantitative data, covering multiple aspects of the safe delivery of care.


  • Demonstrate how the cultural change has spread throughout the organisation.
  • Provide specific examples of how this spread could be replicated in other settings or organisations.


  • Clearly evidence how the cultural change has improved value for patients and staff, in terms of patient experience, staff satisfaction and quality of care.
  • If possible, provide evidence of value creation in other areas, in terms of increased capacity, reduced adverse events (and therefore investigatory or litigation costs) and/or improved efficiencies.


  • Provide clear evidence of a multidisciplinary approach, with all relevant parties fully engaging in the work, including managers, medics and nurses as well as patients and families, and how this has led to improved safety.
  • Demonstrate a culture in which all members of staff can raise concerns and make suggestions for improvements.

To find out more

Contact Luke Adeniran for information on how to get involved with the Patient Safety Awards 2023 on 0203 004 5713 or email at