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Spotlight on pilot sites: #1 Hertfordshire Partnership Foundation Trust

How the MHA QI team at Logandene and Seward Lodge are embedding cultural curiosity into their practice

Since October 2023, the team from Logandene and Seward Lodge at Hertfordshire Partnership Foundation Trust (HPFT), have worked to adapt care plans to reflect cultural and religious needs, improve accessibility of information on the Mental health Act, and demonstrate their commitment to co-production through active involvement of service users and carers through regular feedback and community meetings. They're also rolling out essential training to boost staff cultural awareness and competence on the ward.

Here, the team reflects on their experiences as a pilot site for the Mental Health Act QI programme - with a focus on how they're working to better embed cultural curiosity into their practice, to provide greater equity of care for patients with dementia...

Spotlight on pilot sites: #1 Hertfordshire Partnership Foundation Trust

Reflections on cultural curiosity from the MHA QI project team at Logandene and Seward Lodge

At HPFT, the MHA QI project team have have been committed to enhancing the experience of service users from minority ethnic backgrounds at Logandene and Seward Lodge inpatient dementia wards, guided by the national coaching programme. This article outlines the team’s reflections on the role of cultural curiosity in inpatient settings.

Recently, the Logandene and Seward Lodge project team ran a workshop with colleagues from a range of partner organisations, as well as individuals with lived experience. We introduced the idea of cultural competence through using ‘My Culture and What it Means to Me’ posters from Tools for Talking, and equity huddle cards introduced by coaches on the programme to explore and understand how we can better apply an equity-lens to our improvement efforts.

The activity really got the group thinking about the assumptions we might make about individuals before taking the time to ask them about their culture, and how having these conversations helped to create feelings of safety and trust.  We also considered how culture isn’t static, but can change and develop over time, and one participant noted that the exercise helped him to better understand his own culture, as well as learning about other group members’.

As a project team, we have reflected on the importance of embedding cultural curiosity across the wards and encouraging staff, service users and carers to engage in conversations around cultural preferences and differences, to promote a trusting environment, where individuals of all different backgrounds and cultures feel safe and celebrated.

One of the change ideas which stemmed from this was the adaptation of care and support plans to include sections on service users’ cultural and religious preferences.

The team also developed 'conversation starters' guidance for staff members to explore these topics with service users and carers, and is in the process of developing training to support staff to feel more confident in identifying and catering to cultural and religious needs.

Through involving carers in developing plans which highlight individual cultural preferences, the ward teams enhance the Triangle of Care between carers, service users and staff members, enabling carers to feel more confident that their loved ones are receiving culturally-appropriate support. The team recognises that these conversations are serious and important steps towards building trust and improving care, and not just 'box-ticking' exercises.

The team is currently evaluating the uptake and impact of the identified change idea and is aware that there is still a long way to go to before cultural curiosity is fully embedded on the wards.

We're grateful for the support of HPFT executive sponsors for the programme - their support has been instrumental in driving progress and change forward - and for the thought-provoking opportunity to explore the idea of cultural curiosity, and how it can improve the experience of service users, carers and staff.

We look forward to continuing our improvement journey in the months ahead and beyond...

Author(s): Laura Knill-Jones, Kevin Minier, Julius Mitala, Leslie Ginya, Raman Paul, Rahul Tomar, Caroline Russell (Team at Logandene and Seward Lodge, HPFT)

To hear more about the work of MHA QI pilot Trusts, such as HPFT, please don't hesitate to reach out to

Watch this space for more articles as part of our spotlight series, showcasing the work of MHA QI pilot sites.

"The project has been both an exciting and interesting learning experience that will support HPFT’s strategy of eliminating discrimination and promote diversity within staff groups as well as yield better outcomes for our service users."

Project team at Logandene and Seward Lodge, HPFT

"I think it’s a really important programme…and [the process] has really helped with improving critical thinking skills."

Team Leader, Logandene Ward, HPFT

Interested in joining the next phase of the MHA QI programme?

Building on successes and lessons learnt from the pilot phase, we're now inviting Expressions of Interest for the wider implementation phase of the programme, open to all NHS mental health trusts and provider collaboratives in England

Any questions, please don't hesitate to reach out to 

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