Evidence shows that employee engagement in the NHS is linked to staff wellbeing, patient satisfaction and clinical outcomes such as mortality. Put simply, engaged staff deliver better, safer care. Engagement in the NHS has increased over the last two years but there remains significant scope for improvement.
The NHS is facing an ‘unprecedented squeeze;’ demand is growing and costs are rising whilst budgets are frozen. At the same time, following the Francis Report into the disaster at Mid Staffordshire, the NHS is being expected to deliver ever safer and higher quality care.
This IPA research, commissioned by the Healthcare People Managers Association and NHS Employers is based on case studies with eight high performing NHS Trusts. 'Meeting the Challenge: Successful Employee Engagement in the NHS' sets out a series of reccomendations for NHS Trusts based on best practice across the NHS.
These are hard times for NHS workers. Ongoing pay restraint, increasing work intensity and organisational change risk undermining engagement. Yet, in order to meet the challenges the NHS is facing, engaging with the workforce is more important than ever. Engaging with employees can unlock their potential for innovation, allowing them to make services more effective and efficient. And involving staff in decision-making is vital during these times of change in the NHS.
Employee engagement must be seen as a key priority for the NHS. Leaders need to respond to this imperative and rise to the challenge.