20 May 2022

Nurturing Improvement in everyday work in Tower Hamlets Community Health Services

By Carlos Santos, Improvement Advisor

We often associate gossip in the workplace as a negative activity. But did you know gossip at work can be beneficial?1. The idea of positive gossip or sharing something about others when they have done something well, has been seen to have positive effects at work.  

Tower Hamlets Community Health services (THCHS) have been using this idea of positive gossip to help them understand all the excellent improvement work staff and service users are working on across the directorate. This is not the first-time positive gossip has been used to support improvement work across the trust. You can read how the Luton and Bedfordshire Senior Psychological Therapies team tested the idea as part of their Enjoying Work project. 

In THCHS, colleagues were invited to share what improvement work they were tackling at a range of directorate meetings. A simple Microsoft form was used to help capture this learning. What emerged was over 20 teams using improvement tools and ways of thinking to help them tackle problems in their everyday work.  

The directorate found that this straightforward way of helping staff share what they were doing and then visualising it was helpful. To iterate on their learning, the directorate is going to be creating a short storyboard to share all the improvement work happening across the directorate.

We hope the learning here might benefit others across the trust, inspire them to share their improvement work snippets and provide a simple way for them to do this. Do you have any positive gossip to share about improvement work in your teams?


1.Spoelma, T. M., & Hetrick, A. L. (2021). More than idle talk: Examining the effects of positive and negative team gossip. Journal of Organizational Behavior42(5), 604-618. 

Copyright © 2024 East London Foundation Trust. All rights reserved.

Subscribe to our newsletter

  • YesNo
  • 12345
    1 = poor | 5 = great
  • 12345
    1 = not useful at all | 5 = very useful


What are you looking for today?