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The secrets of a successful team development strategy and its impact on care

Mersey Care NHS Trust – 2019

The Trust supports teams as a key driver for its ambitious Perfect Care agenda. Extensive use is made of the Affina Team Journey methodology, supported by 31 trained Team Coaches and regular Team Coach networks. Team based working methodology is also embedded in leadership development for all managers working in Band 7 and above.

Why Team Based Working?

“We know through our evaluations that developing compassionate leadership and team-based working has a direct impact on psychological safety and empowers front-line staff to improve patient safety and outcomes,” says Jo Davidson, Associate Director Workforce; Organisational Effectiveness and Learning.

The Approach

Since 2014, Mersey Care has continued to embed Team Based Working  in its leadership programmes and through extensive use of the Affina Team Journey. At any point in time, around 20% of teams in the Trust are undergoing development. Priority is given to clinical and leadership teams and those going through organisational change and service developments.


Results of a 2018 evaluation of 46 teams from one of 4 clinical divisions show a clear correlation between OE interventions, improved levels of engagement and performance outcomes against the Quality and Safety Framework.

The results of the evaluation demonstrate how TBW is applied in Mersey Care to provide a common framework. Most importantly, it facilitates psychological safety and an environment in which to raise concerns, challenge, learn and take collective action that improves safety for both staff and patients.

During several years of rapid, large scale change and three challenging acquisitions, the Trust has also seen continuous improvement in its staff survey, including overall engagement and recommendation as a place to work within its clinical environments.

In 2019, Mersey Care was rated as ‘Outstanding’ by CQC for Well-Led. The role of OE is acknowledged as critical to both this achievement and ambitions for Perfect Care.

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