This site is intended for healthcare professionals only

Improve staff morale for patients' sake

Written by: | Published:

Jeremy Hunt launched the NHS mandate Jeremy Hunt launched the NHS mandate

Last week, health secretary Jeremy Hunt launched the 'historic' NHS Mandate, setting out 'what every patient in England can expect from GPs, hospitals and the wider NHS'. It represents 'a central strand of the government's determination to improve the quality of people's experience of the NHS'.

The mandate pledges to improve standards of care, not just treatment, especially for the elderly and vulnerable. It promises better diagnosis, treatment and care for people with dementia. Pregnant women will have a named midwife; all patients will be able to book general practice appointments online.

This focus on patient experience is valid. Independent health charity the King's Fund considered the relationship between patient experience and key domains of healthcare quality in the QOF. It found GP practices that deliver a good experience for their patients have higher QOF outcome scores. Meanwhile, a study published in the BMJ showed that ignoring or misinterpreting patient preferences in treatment decisions can lead to 'silent misdiagnosis': better diagnosis of patients' preferences is not only the right ethical thing to do, but may also reduce the cost of healthcare. Engaged, informed patients often choose less intensive care and become more careful about having lots of procedures.

Ironically, according to a three-year study by the National Nursing Research Unit at King's College, London, levels of satisfaction and wellbeing among health staff also have a direct impact on patients' experiences of healthcare. It concludes that 'investing in staff wellbeing is not only important for the nursing workforce but for the quality of care overall'.

Given nurses' low morale over pay and pensions and the RCN's stark warning that the NHS is 'sleepwalking into crisis', this is one aspect of the patient experience that needs urgent attention.

What do you think? Leave a comment below or tweet your views to @IndyNurseMag

This material is protected by MA Healthcare Ltd copyright.
See Terms and Conditions.

Comments

Name
 
Email
 
Comments
 

Please view our Terms and Conditions before leaving a comment.

Change the CAPTCHA codeSpeak the CAPTCHA code
 

Most read articles from Practice Nursing Journal

Practice Nursing Journal latest issue and most read articles.

Click here to read a selection of free to access articles from Practice Nursing Journal

Newsletter

Sign up to the newsletter

About

Independent Nurse is the professional resource for primary care and community nurses, providing clinical articles for practice nurses and prescribers.

Newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter and stay up to date with the latest nursing news.

Stay Connected

Stay social with Independent Nurse by following us on Twitter, liking us on Facebook or connecting on LinkedIn.

Archive

Need access to some of our older articles? You can view our archive, or alternatively contact us.

Contact Us

MA Healthcare Ltd.
St Jude's Church, Dulwich Road
London, SE24 0PB

Tel: +44 (0)20 7738 5454
Registered in England and Wales No. 01878373

Meet the team

Authors

Find out how to contribute to Independent Nurse here.