Aston Business School behind new government review to transform NHS workforce

24 November 2009

Researchers at Aston Business School have been part of a national government review to improve the health and wellbeing of staff in the NHS.

Released this week (23 November 2009), the NHS Health and Wellbeing report (or the Boorman review) is the final version of an initial review published in August. The initial review said that NHS employees needed more support so trusts could cut down on staff absenteeism and, in turn, improve performance and save money. This final report emphasises the need to look at the organisational behaviour of the NHS to improve its practises. 

Aston, in partnership with the Work Foundation and RAND Europe, has developed a model to test the relationship between healthier NHS staff and the effectiveness of the organisation. Entitled the Benefit Evaluation Model, it focuses on factors which have an effect on patient experience, patient health and overall performance of the Health Service. 

The key findings of Aston’s research, based on the NHS staff survey results and additional NHS data sources, has found significant links between the health and wellbeing of NHS staff and:

  • patient satisfaction ratings
  • MRSA infection rates
  • staff absenteeism rates
  • staff turnover levels and the proportion of overall staff costs spent on agency staff
  • practises of management, including perceptions of staff work pressures, the effectiveness of job descriptions, support for work-life balance  and well-structured appraisals.

Jeremy Dawson, Institute for Health Service Effectiveness, Aston Business School, who lead the research at Aston, said:
"This research shows how important the health and wellbeing of our NHS staff is. Making relatively small changes to working practices can mean not only a healthier and happier workforce, but improved patient care and lower costs as well - which is good news all round."

Aston Business School‘s Institute for Health Service Effectiveness, who co-conducted the report, has worked on a number of major projects for the Department of Health. These include the development and implementation of the NHS national staff survey in England, a report into the effectiveness of team-based work in the NHS and a study which identified the link between Human Resource Management and patient mortality. 


For further information, contact Laura Plotnek, Aston Business School Press Officer on 0121 204 4540.