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Shared Governance

logo The Shared Governance model of leadership encourages personal and professional development whilst focussing on improving patient safety, patient experience and staff experience.

We won the 'Partnership Working' catagory at the Royal College of Midwives Awards (2016) and the 'Improving Staff Experience' catagory at the Nursing Times Awards (2015) for our Shared Governance programme.


What is Shared Governance?

We define Shared Governance as:

Where staff have collective ownership to develop and improve practice; ensuring patients receive caring, safe and confident care. It places staff at the centre of the decision making process and sees managers having a facilitative leadership role

So far we have implemented Shared Governance at NUH in two ways:

  • Promoting and fostering a facilitative rather than directive leadership approach in our Nursing & Midwifery teams
  • Using nurse and midwife-led councils as a vehicle to implement Shared Governance

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1) Unit Practice Councils

Unit Practice Councils sit across one ward/clinical area only. These councils are often nurse and midwife-led. They are our most common form of councils at NUH. These councils meet monthly and tend to have an average of 5-6 members of staff across Bands 2-6 sitting on the council. They focus on improvement that is meaningful for their areas, whilst using measurable outcomes to prove improvement.


2) Speciality Councils

A speciality council sits across more than one ward or clinical area. One example of this is our Trauma and Orthopaedic council which sits across Wards C4, C5 and C6. This council also sits monthly and will have 2-3 members of staff per ward representing their area on the council. As above, they focus on improvement that is meaningful for their areas, whilst using measurable outcomes to prove improvement.


3) Themed Councils

These councils do not sit across one specific clinical area but sit within our Trust as a whole. They represent a group of staff and tend to use Shared Governance principles to formulate discussions and actions. They discuss topics such as: the evidence-based practise agenda or practice development.


4) Leadership Council

All the chairs of our councils attend Leadership Council and report back on their work. They answer three questions:

  • What are you working on?
  • What’s going well?
  • What do we need help with?


The Leadership Council exists to support the frontline staff councils described above, to develop and push forward their agendas, whilst focussing on successes and unblocking challenges where necessary.

If you would like more information please email us at



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