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Debate overview: Patient and staff experience


Should leaders be held to account for the delivery of improvements in staff experience or should patient outcomes be the most important measure of performance?

The NLC believes that there is an evidenced link between high levels of staff engagement and enhanced patient outcomes and experience.

If an organisation wants to improve patient outcomes and experience, it must work hard to build staff engagement

Thus if an organisation wants to improve patient outcomes and experience, it must work hard to build staff engagement.

However, there are those who argue that leaders have enough targets and performance indicators, that good leaders anyway generate high levels of engagement in their organisations and that an emphasis on the staff experience may be at the expense of putting patients at the heart of what the NHS does.

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Readers' comments (5)

What do you think?

  • Its a balance. The primary objective has to be a positive outcome for patients. It is a bonus if staff are happy a work. It is very difficult for chief executives to have a touchy feely relationship with staff if they are responsible for an organisation with 12000-15000 employees. It seems to me that staff these days think that managers are there for them. They are not. They are there to manage and there will always be areas of conflict because we have our agenda and managers have theirs. That is why we have Trade Unions to look after our interests. How many of you are in a trade union? If you don't like how your manager is performing or you have a complaint, join a union and make your voice count, otherwise you have no cause to complain. Everybody benefits from trade union activity, but not every pays their dues, now thats what I don't like, freeloaders, riding on the backs of others.

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  • as a nurse it is my aim to foster good outcomes for patients,but is getting increasingly difficult to do so.
    Lack of frontline staff is one issue and also I feel as thogh government targets and initiatives ,which are supposedly aimed at improving the patient experience, contribute to exactly the opposite.
    Too much of the budget is being directed to the salaries of those who are to manage the initiatives and targets whilst the staff who have to work towards the achievement of them is becoming less and less.
    I don't think you have to be a genious to understand that there can be as manytargets and initiatives as can be thought of but whilst there remains too few frontline staff to carry them out none of those mesures can be effectively applied to patient care.

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  • I believe that management should endeavour to improve thier staffs' morale as this will have direct impact on patient care. A big part of this is ensuring adequate staffing levels. I also feel that nurse managers/leaders who are actualy registered nurses should undertake 1 week in every 6 to grass roots nursing - working on a particular ward in thier trust and seeing first hand what staff are facing. It will also facilitate valid PREP to maintain their registration. Have you noticed how all thier qualifications are listed before RN?

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  • Yes managers should be held to account if there are a lot of poor patient outcomes. You would do the same in private industry. You should expect leaders to lead and to acheive. It is important though that this is done in close collaboration with the frontline work force and that patient and staff veiws are listened to. Too much money is spent on amaging and fire fighting and not on the ground where it is needed.

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  • I cannot understand why the issue of patient outcome is even in question when it comes to management performance.Has the world of the NHS gone crazy. Get bums of seats and get on with the job of actively! caring for patients and running the wards, from top management, right down to the important task of ward cleaners. A generalised statement which is making a point regarding wards today, being run as if patients were a thorn in the side of the industry. I apologise for having those thoughts,which are a result of seeing how much things have changed for the worse for the patient since I was a nurse. In the good old days of the strict nursing officer and charge nurse, who ruled the ward and the hospital with an iron rod,although they made you nervous at times,the ultimate concern was the patient! Bring them back,we need them!

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