Leading researchers at Aston Business School have embarked on an extensive review of the NHS workforce to find out if 2009 government plans to provide higher quality care to patients have been effective so far.
The review follows on from the government’s High Quality Care for All (HQCfA) agenda, which stressed the need for improved support of frontline NHS staff to provide the highest standard of care for patients. A collaboration between the Institute of Health Service Effectiveness (IHSE) at Aston, Leicester and Birmingham Universities and the National Association for Patient Participation, the review will monitor how the NHS is responding to HQCfA and develop detailed action plans to implement its recommendations across the Service.
Research tools such as in-depth interviews, direct observations and surveys will be used. Patients will also be surveyed to find out if they have noticed improvements to services. The findings will be translated into practical action plans and fed back to the NHS management board after the project closes in March 2012.
Aston Business School’s IHSE, led by Professor Mike West and Jeremy Dawson, has a strong track record of working with the NHS. In 2003 it was awarded the contract to develop and administer the first NHS staff survey in England. The team has managed the project since, receiving over 150,000 responses a year and helping to inform policy changes on areas including work-life balance, team working, training, job design, harassment and bullying and infection control. They have also worked on additional projects including effective team working in mental health, staff engagement in the NHS and an evaluation of the Safer Patients Initiative.
Prof Mike West, Dean of Aston Business School and member of the Institute of Health Service Effectiveness (IHSE), said:
“With our strong record of working closely with the NHS, Aston’s IHSE is perfectly equipped for successfully accomplishing this health service review. We will bring academic rigour and considerable experience of working with the NHS to the evaluation. Consequently our findings will be authoritative but, more importantly, our work will be practical, focused on solutions and communicated clearly so that we can help to make a real difference to the quality of patient care in the NHS.
“Above all, our research will examine whether leaders and staff in the NHS are putting quality of patient care at the heart of everything they do and identify what practical actions need to be taken to secure greater success.”