Restorative and Just Culture

Learn more about a restorative justice culture and what it means for us in Mersey Care. Just and Learning is endorsed by the Trust's Board of Directors as one of our quality improvement priorities (BHAG). It is being led by staff ambassadors. We've learned from experts and applied it to our work to deliver accountable care to our service users.

2019: The Care Quality Commission highlight Just and Learning Culture as an example of "outstanding practice".

2020: Highly commended at the HSJ Value Awards.

Free elearning resources:

Summed up in 200 words

In Mersey Care, our Just and Learning Culture is an environment where we put 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’s not finger-pointing and it’s not blame-seeking. That said, a Just and Learning Culture is not the same as an uncritically tolerant culture where anything goes - that would be as inexcusable as a blame culture.

Professor Sidney Dekker, the man who wrote the book on Just Culture, has spent time with staff from across Mersey Care – nurses, ward managers, directors, colleagues at all levels – to assess how the Trust is doing. 

The Professor says: “A restorative justice culture asks you to give an account of how the event happened and what it meant to you. Together, we determine how to meet the needs that have arisen.”

Following his visit to us Sidney was clear we're well on our way towards this culture. There is more to do but the freedom to speak up is there. We have dedicated workstreams to give a proper framework to civility, review complaints and deliver training, and staff can now access practical help online.

  • Watch Professor Dekker's powerful and moving film about our progress toward a Just and Learning Culture
  • Read Amanda Oates' interview in the summer 2018 People Management magazine
  • Watch the first module of our free online learning tool now
  • Go to module two here and then visit module three added in June 2020 
  • Download the  4 Step Process.pdf form to review an event that could have or did result in harm.

Supporting ColleaguesTrust wide non clinical support policy

The new Supporting Colleagues policy was an important milestone in our Just and Learning journey.

This policy follows discussions with staff and unions as to how to best support you after an incident. It will also promote staff support already available. It recognises that sometimes we may need compassionate help and both as individuals and as organisation we can provide that.

The policy is central to our vision of Just and Learning. We want everyone to feel supported by their colleagues and we want them to know they can access free and confidential services such as counselling and physiotherapy. There’s a toolkit which includes a simple discussion checklist for managers to use when supporting a colleague after an incident. There is also a discussion paper for teams to explore during their regular meetings. It’s a great opportunity to talk about what ‘support’ looks like. 

This policy recognises that individuals may react differently to events and that ultimately being both supportive and supported improves everyone’s wellbeing. 

Please read the Staff Hub for more about how to support colleagues and watch the short videos on these pages from the Chief Executive and the Director of Workforce. You can read the full policy on our website.

Members of the team and the ambassadors have been out and about in wards and workplaces to promote it and remind everyone about this website. They are also making sure staff are aware of the free and confidential counselling, physiotherapy and psychological support available from Health and Wellbeing at Work on 0151 330 8103. If you’d like more information please speak with your team’s HR practitioner.

Meet the Professor

Professor Sidney Dekker is a widely respected academicsydney dekker.jpg and has also been a First Officer on 737s in Europe. In Sweden, he was Professor of Human Factors and System Safety and in Australia Sidney founded the Safety Science Innovation Lab.

Sidney is based at Griffith University in Brisbane and is also Honorary Professor of Psychology at The University of Queensland.

His book "Just Culture" has become a standard text for organisations across the world who are redefining what accountability means, offering a way for workplaces to respond to mistakes and restore relationships and trust.