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Review aims to give NHS staff a stronger voice

An independent review of NHS staff, led by Professor Chris Ham, Chief Executive of the King’s Fund, has been announced.

The review - which aims to ensure NHS staff are able to give higher quality care - will consider options for supporting employee voices and their stake in organisations providing NHS services, and will assess a range of options, including models such as social enterprises and mutual organisations.

Professor Ham, who will be supported by an independent panel of experts from healthcare and other sectors, said: “Evidence shows that engaging and empowering staff can improve performance and lead to higher quality care for patients. I am delighted to be leading this independent review which I hope will support the development of innovative provider models that give NHS staff a stronger voice in their organisation.

“The review aims to ensure that staff in all organisations delivering NHS services are empowered to make the greatest possible contribution to the delivery of efficient services and high quality care.”

Good practices
It is intended that the review will identify the barriers preventing some NHS providers from engaging and empowering staff, outline good practices within the NHS and other sectors, and recommend how these can be adopted throughout the NHS. It will look in detail at the hospital sector but will also consider primary and community care and relationships with social care.

Care Minister Norman Lamb said: “There is no doubt that engaging staff in their organisation’s work leads to happier employees who are then more proactive and innovative at work. This in turn leads to better patient care.

“We know there are differences in how engaged staff feel at work and how empowered they are to improve services for patients. We want to make it easier for staff to offer the best possible patient care by removing any barriers so they can operate in such a way that delivers the best outcomes for patients.”

The review will make its recommendations to the Government by April 2014.