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Northumbria University scores Knowledge Exchange award

12th December 2022

Northumbria University and Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust have won the ‘Knowledge Exchange Strategic Partnership’ award from PraxisAuril, a world-leading association for Knowledge Exchange practitioners.

The academic-NHS partnership received the award from PraxisAuril for their project ‘Principles and Practice of Restorative Just Culture’.

Restorative Justice is an approach that works to replace a culture of blame and fear with a culture of trust, learning and accountability.

Together, Northumbria and Mersey Care are pioneering professional development courses on Restorative Just Learning Culture and developing and embedding new learning into organisational practice.

Their four-day accredited course teaches the theory behind Restorative Just Learning Culture and its application in complex organisations. The programme aims to benefit professionals and practitioners involved in the management and welfare of a range of stakeholders in any industry.

Dr Gosia Ciesielska, Associate Professor of Organisation Studies within Northumbria’s Newcastle Business School, who led on the project, said: “These days we talk a lot about sustainability in the context of production, consumption, or energy. This award recognises the importance of sustainable Human Resource Management and puts restorative justice as a central concept of progressive talent management.”

Improving workplace wellbeing and cutting business costs

A 2019 NHS Patient Safety Strategy highlighted the cost to patient safety resulting from healthcare teams that do not feel supported to carry out patient care, estimating 11,000 lives go unsaved, a further £1 billion is spent on treatment following unnecessary incidents, whilst bullying and harassment costs £2 billion per annum.

Northumbria University and Mersey Care’s Principles and Practice of Restorative Just Culture course teaches learners and equips organisations with strategies to manage these issues in a restorative way that minimises the negative impacts, maximises learning and develops an organisational culture where people feel safe.

Such has been the success of the course that the UK’s ZeroSuicide Alliance is utilising it to help facilitate the work they are doing to prevent suicide in the UK and beyond.

Amanda Oates, Executive Director of Workforce at Mersey Care, said: “Mersey Care has led a major change in culture, not only in our own services, but across the NHS. We’re delighted to partner Northumbria on this and welcome this award in recognition of our joint working. What makes me, as Chief People Officer, even more proud, is that together we’re improving lives and supporting people at challenging times”.

The power of partnerships

By working collaboratively with other organisations universities can play a powerful and strategic role in improving lives.

The PraxisAuril Knowledge Exchange (KE) Awards celebrate the people who help to initiate and deliver impact from research through a diverse range of activities.

The KE Strategic Partnership award recognises the success of an external partnership which demonstrates the value of collaboration.

The awards are supported by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and work with Government Office for Technology Transfer (GOTT), the TenU, the National Centre for Universities and Business (NCUB) and SETsquared to increase support and publicity for the important and impactful achievements of the KE profession.

For more information about the Principles and Practice of Restorative Just Culture course and upcoming dates, visit

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