The Civility Project

Looking at how hospital working environments can be improved

The Civility Project is a joint project between the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) and the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland (RCPI) funded by the HSE National Doctors in Training Programme (NDTP).

The goal of the project is to identify interventions that promote civility and address inappropriate behaviour in the hospital setting for all staff.

Data will be collected from the hospital environment, the identities of which will be kept confidential. The findings will be used to inform the development of interventions to form a working model, which will subsequently be disseminated more widely.

What is incivility?

Incivility is rude or unsociable speech or behaviour. It is undesirable in any workplace and creates a negative environment.

The knock on effect from uncivil behaviour can have serious consequences and affect not only the wellbeing of staff but also patient safety.

Working in a hospital can be challenging and dealing with rudeness and inappropriate behaviour from colleagues can cause unnecessary stress and significant added burden on the workforce.

Project overview

The project has two key work streams: firstly we will be conducting a mixed methods research study, which will comprise a range of data-gathering exercises including a survey, focus groups, and one-on-one interviews. The survey looks at all staff in the hospital, focusing on the key issues of civility and bullying, and how the participants feel about their hospital. The research instruments have been developed in consultation with our multidisciplinary project team to get the deepest understanding of the culture on the sites and how it is experienced by all staff.

Building on the research, the second work stream will develop interventions to promote civility in hospitals and address any issues arising from the research. The project working group is currently reviewing international best-practice and evidence for interventions to promote civility and address inappropriate behaviour in the workplace. In the second year of the project, we plan to implement these interventions, and repeat the survey to assess the efficacy of the interventions.

We have established a steering group for the project, this will be made up of hospital workforce representatives and subject matter experts. The role of the steering group is to advise on the development of the programme of interventions and to ensure recommendations are practical and implementable. This work will be informed by international best practice, academic research and the findings of our own research, as well as being open to the innovative ideas of steering group members.

Meet the team

Key project team members are listed below.

Ciara Greene

Project Manager, the Civility Project

Tel: +353 1 402 5182

Ciara Greene is the project manager of The Civility Project at Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. Ciara previously worked at the British Medical Association, firstly in the field of equality and inclusion, and then in the contracts team, leading national negotiations. Ciara has particular interest in creating a supportive working environment for all staff working in the hospital setting.

Dr Anthony O’Connor

Clinical lead for The Civility Project

Dr Anthony O’Connor is Clinical lead for The Civility Project and Consultant Gastroenterologist at Tallaght University Hospital. He has been a long-time advocate for better workplaces for doctors in both the medical and national media. He has been a member of the NCHD and consultant committees of the Irish Medical Organisation.

Ms Margaret O’Donnell

Clinical lead for The Civility Project

Ms Margaret O’Donnell is Clinical lead for The Civility Project and a Consultant plastic surgeon in the Blackrock Clinic. She has been a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland since 1988 and obtained the Specialist Fellowship in Plastic and Aesthetic surgery from the combined Royal Colleges of Ireland, England, Glasgow and Edinburgh in 1994. She took up appointments as Consultant Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at St. Vincent’s University Hospital, Dublin and St James Hospital Dublin in 1988, and following this was the Consultant-In-Charge of the National Burns Unit at St James Hospital. She currently practices at Blackrock Clinic, Blackrock, Co Dublin, with special interest in Breast Reconstruction, Cosmetic Breast Surgery, Burns, Skin Cancer.

Hadas Levy

Manager, Health and Wellbeing Department

Tel: 01 863 9705

Hadas Levy B.A. Psychology, M.Sc. Counselling Psychology manages the RCPI Health and Wellbeing Office.

Padraig Kelly

Associate Director, Surgical Affairs Operations and Planning, RCSI

Padraig Kelly is the RCSI Associate Director, Surgical Affairs Operations and Planning. Padraig has a Bachelor of Engineering Degree in Industrial Engineering, a Master’s of Business Administration, a Diploma in Risk Management and is a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt. For the past 14 years, Padraig’s work has focused entirely within the Healthcare sector with quality assurance, accreditation and process improvement roles within Large University Teaching Hospitals and Medical Academic programmes.