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BHT Team Toolkit: Introduction

BHT team toolkit

If you work with a team or lead a team then this resource is for you.

The BHT team toolkit is a useful and accessible resource guide which aims to embrace and build closer team working.

You can use this toolkit when working with your teams to encourage team working and recognise the contribution it can make to the delivery of safe and compassionate patient care, from committed staff working within a common culture.

It offers:

  • Theories to help you work effectively with your team. 
  • Evidence demonstrating the importance and impact of team development within the NHS.
  • Tools and exercises to help you develop team working in your area.

To access the materials simply navigate to the required topic using the tabs above.

If you have any questions about this guide, please contact:

Leadership and Organisational Development Team

01494 734019


Dysfunctions of a team

When a team functions well, it is a marvel to behold, and it leads to fantastic outcomes. When a team fails to function well together, the ripple effects hurt the entire organisation. Genuine teamwork in most organisations remains as elusive as it has ever been. Often teams fail to function effectively together because they unknowingly fall prey to five natural but dangerous pitfalls which Patrick Lencioni termed ‘the five dysfunctions of a team’.

According to Lencioni, “the true measure of a team is that it accomplishes the results that it sets out to achieve. To do that on a consistent on-going basis, a team must overcome the five dysfunctions” (Lencioni, 2002).

Team performance curve

The Team Performance Curve is a model that describes 5 types of teams in terms of performance impact and team effectiveness. Where would you place your team?

Source: Katzenbach and Smith, 199


“Not finance. Not strategy. Not technology. It is teamwork that remains the ultimate competitive advantage, both because it is so powerful and so rare.” 

Source: Patrick Lencioni, 2002.

Cultures of quality and safety require a strong value of team working. Healthcare staff need to work together to provide high quality and safe care for patients because healthcare requires staff from across professional boundaries to collaborate and coordinate their efforts.

Evidence shows that where multi-professional teams work together, patient satisfaction is higher, healthcare delivery is more effective, there are higher levels of innovation in the provision of new and improved ways of caring for patients, lower levels of staff stress, absenteeism and turnover, and more consistent communication with patients.


Still not convinced? The following links provide evidence and information on the benefits of developing team working in the NHS:


  • This report by Michael West and Jeremy Dawson demonstrates how “good management of NHS staff leads to higher quality of care, more satisfied patients and lower patient mortality.”
  • “The Rewards, Challenges and Opportunities of investing in real Team Working” from NHS Northamptonshire is a real life case study showing how good teamwork and leadership contributed towards positive outcomes for patients.
  • Leicester University have produced a video showing perceptions from all the stroke team members about team working within University Hospital of Leicester NHS Trust.
  • The Health Care Team Effectiveness Project produced a report showing the value of team working within the NHS.
  • Team work at Stockport NHS Foundation Trust – Paula Bennett, ED Nurse Consultant, talks about life at Stockport NHS Foundation Trust and the importance of team work