Article measuring and assessing healthcare organisational culture in the england’s national health service: a snapshot of current tools and tool use

Dominic Simpson*, Sharon Hamilton, Robert McSherry, Rebecca McIntosh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)
1 Downloads (Pure)


Healthcare Organisational Culture (OC) is a major contributing factor in serious failings in healthcare delivery. Despite an increased awareness of the impact that OC is having on patient care, there is no universally accepted way to measure culture in practice. This study was undertaken to provide a snapshot as to how the English National Health Service (NHS) is currently measuring culture. Although the study is based in England, the findings have potential to influence the measurement of healthcare OC internationally. An online survey was sent to 234 NHS hospital trusts, with a response rate of 35%. Respondents who completed the online survey, on behalf of their representative organisations, were senior clinical governance leaders. The findings demonstrate that the majority of organisations, that responded, were actively measuring culture. Significantly, a wide variety of tools were in use, with variable levels of satisfaction and success. The majority of tools had a focus on patient safety, not on understanding the determining factors which impact upon healthcare OC. This paper reports the tools currently used by the respondents. It highlights that there are deficits in these tools that need to be addressed, so that organisations can interpret their own culture in a standardised, evidence-based way.

Original languageEnglish
Article number127
JournalHealthcare (Switzerland)
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2019
Externally publishedYes

Cite this