News story

Review of NHS staff engagement launched

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Independent review aims to ensure NHS staff are able to give higher quality care.

The review will consider options for supporting employee voices and their stake in organisations providing NHS services, and will assess a range of options, including models such as social enterprises and mutual organisations.

It will be led by Professor Chris Ham, Chief Executive of the King’s Fund. He will be supported by an independent panel of experts from healthcare and other sectors.

Professor Chris Ham said:

Evidence shows that engaging and empowering staff can improve performance and lead to higher quality care for patients. I am delighted to be leading this independent review which I hope will support the development of innovative provider models that give NHS staff a stronger voice in their organisation.

The review aims to ensure that staff in all organisations delivering NHS services are empowered to make the greatest possible contribution to the delivery of efficient services and high quality care.

The review will identify the barriers preventing some NHS providers from engaging and empowering staff, outline good practices within the NHS and other sectors, and recommend how these can be adopted throughout the NHS. It will look in detail at the hospital sector but will also consider primary and community care and relationships with social care.

Care Minister Norman Lamb said:

There is no doubt that engaging staff in their organisations’ work leads to happier employees who are then more proactive and innovative at work. This in turn leads to better patient care.

We know there are differences in how engaged staff feel at work and how empowered they are to improve services for patients. We want to make it easier for staff to offer the best possible patient care by removing any barriers so they can operate in such a way that delivers the best outcomes for patients.

Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude said:

Public service mutuals are appearing all over the country because hardworking nurses, social workers, probation officers and other frontline staff want the freedom to do their jobs as they know best. Around 80 mutuals now deliver well over £1bn of public services. They are raising standards and cutting waste, which is what people care about.

With some of the better established mutual businesses, the health sector already showcases the benefits of giving staff a say in the running of their organisation. We are in a global race and as government looks to support the next generation of innovative health mutuals, I’m excited to see what ideas are generated by the Panel.

The review will make its recommendations to government by April 2014.