An exploration of the relevance of restorative interactions in adult acute care nursing in the English NHS
: towards the optimisation of care and the reduction of opportunities for sub-optimal care

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctorate in Education


British nurses appear intransigent to optimising safety culture, despite the statutory duty of candour and new Code of Professional Behaviours from 2015. Unprofessional behaviours lead insidiously to poor and unsafe care if nurses are unwilling, or do not have linguistic repertoires to challenge peers. Communities, such as schools, also expect high behavioural standards and high support of their members. Restorative justice in schools enables individuals to take responsibility for their actions, learn from mistakes and reduce recidivism. Restorative Interactions would strengthen nurses’ linguistic repertoire when requesting another to validate their practice as its principles draw on duty of candour, RJ, affect theory, andragogy and reflection. RI was explored for congruence to professional values in a small interpretivist qualitative study with eighteen registered acute care nurses following an NHS Trust’s return from “special measures”. Five, single-facilitator workshops introduced nurses to theoretical foundations and principles of Restorative Interactions.
Participants used De Bono’s (2000) Six Thinking Hats to judge the concept’s utility. Transcribed workshops were analysed using Braun and Clark’s (2006) thematic analysis. Currently, nurses vary in their confidence, willingness and linguistic repertoire to directly challenge or raise concerns, but they unanimously abhor potentially harmful behaviours. These nurses supported theoretical bases of Restorative Interactions and suggested refinements for its application in nursing to strengthen professionalism and a safety climate. They began to expand their linguistic repertoires following exposure to theoretical premises of RI. Further research is required to evaluate RI within a ‘restorative community of practice’ whose members seek optimal care.
Date of Award1 May 2020
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • King's College London
SupervisorAlan Cribb (Supervisor) & John Owens (Supervisor)

Cite this