Is it helpful to call for greater trust between NHS organsiations? Or is trustworthiness more important?

Although these conversations about trust (and lack of it) between NHS organisations took place in 2004-5 they are perhaps even more relevant today. To download a pdf:  Conversations About Trust

An extract from Conversations about Trust:

If we are to increase levels of trust we need to understand when it is valuable to trust and when it is not. Using this definition, trust is valuable when: 

  • the trust has been wisely and well placed, by people who are able to make sound judgements about trustworthiness,
  •  the recipient of the trust is trustworthy in that they have stable dispositions to behave in particular ways, 
  • and those stable dispositions are to behave in ways we value.

Conversely trust can be damaging if: 

  • potential trusters are gullible or credulous, overly suspicious or cynical, lazy in obtaining evidence,
  • or poor at distinguishing relevant from irrelevant evidence,
  •  potential recipients do not have stable dispositions but change their behaviours arbitrarily or whimsically, 
  • or those stable dispositions are to behave in ways we disvalue.

So if we do want to increase levels of trust, and in particular if we want to encourage people to trust us, we need to behave in trustworthy ways and proactively provide credible evidence that we are doing so.