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Nurse wellbeing has 'direct impact' on patient care

  • 51 Comments

Levels of satisfaction and wellbeing among NHS staff have a direct impact on patients’ experiences of healthcare, according to a major study by leading UK nurse researchers.  

Investing in staff wellbeing is, therefore, not only important for the nursing workforce but also for quality of care overall, they argue.

The three year study was carried out by the National Nursing Research Unit at King’s College London and Southampton University and aimed to determine which particular staff attitudes and behaviours impacted on patient experiences.

It involved over 200 hours of direct care observation at four trusts – two acute and two in the community – as well as hundreds of interviews and surveys of patients, frontline staff and senior managers.

Glenn Robert, healthcare quality and innovation chair at the NNRU, said the study showed interpersonal relationships with staff were “critical to patient experience”, but the level of such connections was “often poor”.

“Patients want staff to show genuine interest in them as people; to be non-judgemental and competent; continuity of staff enhances levels of trust and the confidence felt by patients that their care needs are fully understood,” he said.

But Professor Robert added: “Staff often reported not being able to deliver the care they wanted to, citing insufficient staffing levels and competing demands on their time as preventing them from delivering the high quality care they wished to give”.

NNRU director and lead study author Jill Maben said the findings were “significant” for proving the importance of staff wellbeing, while acknowledging they might seem obvious to many nurses.

“While it may appear self-evident that patients’ experiences and the quality of health care they receive are influenced by the experiences of the staff providing that care, there was limited UK research that explored this link,” she said.

“This study strongly suggests that patient experiences are better when staff feel they have a good working environment, support from co-workers and their manager and low emotional exhaustion.”

Professor Maben added that the study highlighted the “importance of the team” and the “critical role” of the team leader role in “supporting and nurturing staff and in building a strong climate for patient care”.

 

  • 51 Comments

Readers' comments (51)

  • DH Agent - as if ! | 19-Nov-2012 11:14 am

    'this research (and I admit I have not looked at it)'

    Clearly. Which explains your ill-informed post.

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  • Well, I for one am glad of this research because it makes a refreshing change to read something that supports nurses and doesnt just criticise them and make them out to be uncaring, money grabbing scoundrels! At last someone has taken the time and effort to research whether 1) patient care is being maintained effectively and 2) how nurses can be supported to provide better patient care instead of just blaming us and telling us to try harder!

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  • I would like it if this research had improved staffing numbers, staff-patient ratios, nurses well-being. but it hasn't. The next phase apparently is to look at how it affects mortality rates. We know what the conclusion will be but it will be years until nurses actually see any improvement following this study.

    This was part of the RN4CAST study that we all heard about months ago, it's not a new thing.

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  • Anonymous | 20-Nov-2012 6:33 am

    'I would like it if this research had improved staffing numbers, staff-patient ratios, nurses well-being. but it hasn't.'

    Which is the fault of apathetic nursing workforce, not the researchers. No. it isn't a new thing and yet most nurses have never heard of it......a pro-active profession like Doctors, Teachers, etc. would have known about this type of study and used it, instead of drifting along in ignorance (about this and many other useful evidence). When are we going to stop blaming everyone other than ourselves for our situation?

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  • Yet another case of research funds and 3 years "study" being wasted.

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  • Three years pay for coming up with that crap???

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  • Well I see both sides of the coin after reading most of the comments, and I still feel it is valuable for stupid people, so what we have to do, is workout how we can use this research/study to make a connection to the stupid people who are maintaing low staffing levels and giving us poor working conditions.

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  • Anonymous | 20-Nov-2012 9:41 am

    'Three years pay for coming up with that crap???'

    And it will still be way more than you and many of your colleagues have done!

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  • Anonymous | 20-Nov-2012 6:16 pm

    And it will still be way more than you and many of your colleagues have done!

    or will ever do i'm afraid. it's easier to moan and do nothing. but thats nurses for you.

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  • perspicacious!

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