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NHS 'should engage staff' to improve levels of care

NHS 'should engage staff' to improve levels of care
4th March 2013

The "culture change" needed to improve levels of care in the NHS must begin at board level.

That is the view of Jenny King, a senior researcher at the Picker Institute Europe - an organisation concerned with representing the views of healthcare patients.

Writing for the Guardian, Ms King agreed with the comments made by Robert King QC in his report of the inquiry into the Mid-Staffordshire NHS Trust scandal.

He said NHS staff "must adopt and demonstrate a shared culture where patients [are] the priority."

Ms King highlighted research undertaken by academics at Imperial College that revealed a positive correlation between positively-engaged staff and the quality of care received by staff.

It has been suggested that NHS staff do not feel their recommendations are taken on board, which can lead to disengagement.

A survey conducted by the Picker Institute on behalf of the Department of Health showed that while almost three-quarters (74 per cent) of staff said they were able to make effective communications with senior management, only 26 per cent found their feedback was acted upon.

Ms King suggested the organisations that "engage and empower their staff put themselves in the best position to deliver world-class patient care".

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