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The NHS to Improve Patient Care by Better Engaging Staff

LONDON, Dec. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Health Service (NHS), which manages 500 hospitals and over 1.5 million people in the UK, understands the value of an engaged staff: healthier and happier patients. As part of an ongoing initiative to improve the value of care, many NHS hospitals are teaming up with international staff engagement specialists, the O.C. Tanner Company, to train hospital leaders.

"Staff engagement is essential to meeting the financial challenges facing the NHS," said Steven Weeks, policy manager for NHS Employers, an organisation that works with NHS trusts on workforce issues. "We hope to offer practical tools to help managers strengthen the engagement of their staff and, as a result, take better care of their patients."

This summer, NHS Employers hosted a series of round-table workshops for trust leaders on engagement. International staff recognition company O.C. Tanner presented research from a Towers Perrin study on global recognition that shows a powerful link between highly motivated health care providers and patient satisfaction. According to O.C. Tanner, engaged staff are 12 per cent better at interacting with hospital patrons, and their patients have fewer incidences of infections, pressure sores, and resident falls. NHS Employers and O.C. Tanner published a Briefing in November with further insights into these studies.

"We're extremely impressed with the NHS' dedication and unwavering commitment to improving clinical quality through strengthening the engagement and well-being of their staff," said Michelle M. Smith, Vice President of Business Development for O.C. Tanner. "Engaged staff are more productive, less prone to absenteeism, better at caring for and satisfying patients and less likely to leave."

One trust within the NHS that has partnered directly with O.C. Tanner to improve staff engagement is Princess Alexandra Hospital. As part of a customised service award programme, staff can nominate colleagues for demonstrating exceptional performance and offer them a selection of gifts that act as a symbol and reminder of their achievement. The trust similarly recognises important staff milestones and outstanding service to the organisation. Already seeing the positive impact on their staff, Princess Alexandra plans to launch an additional recognition programme late December.

"There's a renewed sense of pride within our organisation," said Alan Farmer, workforce director for Princess Alexandra Hospital. "We're very open about celebrating our champions and successes, and through recognising the contribution our staff make in providing a good patient experience, we've seen a significant improvement in the overall quality of our care."

NHS Employers and O.C. Tanner plan to continue providing information, tools and resources to instruct leaders on how to engage staff at a conference in June 2010.

About NHS Employers

NHS Employers represents trusts in England on workforce issues and helps employers to ensure the NHS is a place where people want to work. The NHS workforce is at the heart of quality patient care and we believe that employers must drive the workforce agenda. We work with employers to reflect their views and act on their behalf. NHS Employers is part of the NHS Confederation.

About O.C. Tanner

Founded 80 years ago with a philosophy that people are at the heart of any organisation, O.C. Tanner trains companies to recognise the great work of their staff, in addition to designing and manufacturing staff awards. O.C. Tanner Europe continues to build up a reputation as the leader in the staff recognition market in the UK.

SOURCE National Health Service; O.C. Tanner

SOURCE National Health Service; O.C. Tanner
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