Research report on the link between staff and patient experience in the NHS in England

The Department of Health has published a report by Aston University Business School that explores whether the experience of staff working in the NHS links to the patient experience of care.

The evidence underpinning the report is drawn from an analysis of links between the 2007 acute trust inpatient and NHS staff surveys.

The research found a large number of associations between the surveys and puts forward the following key findings:

  • The more staff who have had health and safety training, the better the patient perceptions of greater conscientiousness and availability of staff.
  • Organisations where staff have clear, planned goals are more likely to have patients who report positive experiences of communication; in particular around patients being involved in decisions on care/treatment, family members being able to speak to doctors, the medical information patients were given, and doctors acknowledging the presence of the patient directly when talking about their case with others.
  • When employees are considering leaving their organisation, it is more likely that there are poor levels of communication with patients, particularly around medicine.
  • Patient perceptions of staffing levels and the respect and dignity shown towards them are correlated to employee’s feelings of work pressure and staffing levels
  • Prevalence of discrimination against staff is related to several areas of patient experience, particularly their perceptions of nursing staff.
  • High levels of bullying, harassment and abuse against staff by outsiders relates to many negative patient experiences.
  • Staff views on the confidentiality of patient information are mirrored by patient views of the privacy they are given.

The full report Does the experience of staff working in the NHS link to the patient experience of care? An analysis of links between the 2007 acute trust inpatient and NHS staff surveys can be downloaded here.

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