Interview with NHS Employers Organisation

Doctor's notes
Published on Tuesday, 20 November 2012 14:09
Written by Dean Royles

Dean Royles, Chief Executive, the NHS Employers organisation spoke to us today about challenges facing NHS employees and privatising the NHS. Follow us on Twitter @HSCseries.

HSC: How do you feel the pay rise of 1% for NHS staff will impact on the NHS itself?

Dean: A  1percent rise equates to about half a billion pound. We have asked the pay revier body to consider this carefully.

HSC: How is motivation amongst NHS Employees at the moment, low?

Dean: It's a challenging time in the NHS but when we look at staff survey results, job satisfaction is quite stable.  Motivation is of course something that varies within and between organisation. Line manager really important.

HSC: Are Trusts and the Government engaging with staff effectively?

Dean: We have 1.4 million staff so varies! Trusts increasingly recognise value of engagement and impact on patient care. interestingly all NHS Trust have a staff engagement score from staff survey that is available on trust websites

HSC: Do managers lack confidence in implementing reforms?

Dean: They certainly have lots of experience! The passage of the health bill was challenging for managers because of changes and uncertainty.

HSC: How are you working on sickness and absence?

Dean: Lots of great guidance on our website www.nhsemployers.org! Largely based on the Boorman review. Trend is downwards. You could also see our sickness absence calculator.

HSC: Staff at 3 West Yorkshire hospitals have struck over pay/jobs, how can NHS staff be reassured their jobs are safe?

Dean: I think this relates to a reorganisation at one particular Trust. Most Trusts have JCC to try and work through workforce changes

HSC: A study found satisfied staff deliver better patient care, how are Trusts ensuring staff wellbeing is high?

Dean: And lots of great evidence to support this. You may also want to see the Engage for Success website. All trusts also keep an eye on their staff satisfaction and engagement scores from the national staff survey

HSC: Any Qualified Provider, is this just privatising the NHS bit by bit? Will more staff soon be employed privately?

Dean: This has been policy for some time, partly to ensure the only choice for patients isn't the choice of a poor service. A number of staff providing NHS services are employed in the independent sector.

HSC: If it is a poor service then who is held accountable? Selling of NHS services to private is unfair?

Dean: Depends on the circumstances, but generally provider. Role for regulators and commissioners too.

HSC: Can rewarding staff or managers help increase production, awards, incentives?

Dean: Evidence tells us that recognition can be a powerful motivator. Intrinsic rewards often as powerful as extrinsic.

HSC: Do you feel Trusts should be using social media to interact and inform patients, Facebook/Twitter for instance? Should Trusts implement social media policies?

Dean: Absolutely! After some initial scepticism, social media has an increasingly important role. It's the future! Ie want a good example of the power of social media then check out #flufighters @NHSFlufighter. I think guidance and safe use (e.g confidentiality) is better than policies in this case.

HSC: Very much so as is @WeNurses , to finish Dean, sum up the future for NHS Staff in one tweet?

Dean: They are there when care and compassion are what matters most despite, the challenging environment.

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