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Be clear about expected attitudes and behaviours

This is one of the recommendations from the ‘departmental’ section of the RCOG/RCM undermining toolkit.

Be clear about expected attitudes and behaviours

Decide what constitutes acceptable and unacceptable behaviour, as everyone has different perceptions.

Develop core values

One of the first achievements of the Positive Safety and Culture Team at University Hospital Southampton (UHS) was the development of a set of core values for all clinical leaders within the birth environments (PowerPoint, 175 kb), which all leaders contributed and signed up to.

Consider creating a charter of expected behaviour from trainers and trainees

See an example charter created by the Northern Deanery (PDF, 707 kb), which individual teams or local Schools of O&G could adapt. Both consultants and trainees should be expected to sign up to the policy on commencing their post.

Use the Non-Technical Training Skills (NOTSS) system

The NOTSS system provides a framework and common terminology for rating and feedback on non-technical skills. By paying attention to non-technical skills such as team working, leadership, situation awareness, decision making and communication, there is potential to increase and maintain high levels of performance over time.

Take time to observe your environment

Consider the attitudes and behaviours which could be fostered among teams. A senior midwife coordinator at UHS created a simple yet effective poster using the mnemonic ‘ATTITUDES’ (see below) after taking time in her new post to observe the working environment. The poster was aimed at all midwives and maternity support workers who access the very busy community office on a daily basis.

  • Approachable and supportive
  • Take the initiative to support your colleagues
  • Tidy – leave working areas as you would expect to find them
  • Information and knowledge sharing
  • Talking – be mindful of your language and volume
  • Understand – embrace different ideas and opinions without judgement
  • Documentation – Be accountable for your record keeping
  • Express thoughts and ideas clearly, directly and honestly
  • Speak up – have the confidence to speak up

References and further reading

Elsewhere on the site

Resources and support for trainees
Further resources to support specialty trainees in O&G
Resources and support for trainers
Resources to help trainers deliver the specialty training programme in O&G