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Staff morale ‘overrated’

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Senior nurses should prioritise care quality over staff happiness, according to a leading NHS manager at the conference.

Sian Thomas, joint acting director of NHS Employers, told delegates that it was far more important to ensure that clinical targets were met first – then focus on engaging with staff.

‘You can’t get carried away with the notion of happiness – thinking that if my staff are happy, my patients are happy,’ she said.

Ms Thomas said that quality of patient care should be the main concern on the minds of NHS managers.

‘Am I delivering good quality of care, what are the hard measures of that? That is the first thing I would do before I work on issues of staff engagement,’ she said.

Quality of care is the overarching theme of the NHS Next Stage Review, published earlier this month (NT News, 8 July, 2).

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