We’ve been asking NHS managers what they lose sleep over?

At last week’s NHS Confederation Annual Conference and Exhibition 2010  Participate and INOVEM teamed up to ask delegates to complete a short opinion poll about issues that they might lose sleep over in the next 9 months.  The findings summarised in the chart below make interesting reading for all those involved in the NHS.

Sample base: 101

(If you are struggling to view the chart you can download it on the right hand side of our blog)


A quarter of NHS staff surveyed by Participate and INOVEM at the NHS Confederation are losing most sleep over how they will maintain staff morale during these challenging times.

Several NHS managers also stated that with the target of rationalising management structures and the proposed changes in commissioning structures, it was going to be difficult to maintain staff enthusiasm and even retain senior managers.  It was hoped by some of those surveyed, that the anticipated white paper in July will shed much needed light on how the new commissioning structures will work in practice and affect future job roles.


The integration of GPs as commissioners was also an area for concern for one in eight NHS managers who completed the poll.  Again a lack of clarity in terms of what level of accountability and responsibility will be issued to GPs was the main cause for concern they shared with us.  Discussions centred on how GPs will have the time to be effective commissioners of services and what level of support and resource they will require.


Andrew Lansley, secretary for health, who spoke at the confederation will be keeping just under one in ten (9%) of NHS managers surveyed awake at night.  Several of those surveyed felt that the key to understanding the true impact of all other challenges for the NHS will lie in the hands of Mr Lansley and until he issues more information, they will be in the dark as to their future and the future of their organisations.

Against this backdrop keeping staff, stakeholders and patients engaged and reassured has never been more challenging.  Several NHS managers argued that they are now tasked with reassessing how they will deliver services for growing populations with limited resources without clear guidelines as to how they can engage people in the debate.  Many of the NHS managers who took part in our poll also stated that they felt they were in ‘limbo’, knowing they will need to engage with stakeholders and GPs but without the ‘all clear’ to start this complex process.


In addition, during these times of change staff engagement will be crucial to ensure good personnel are not lost or devalued.  Using synchronised methods of engagement that can explain the complex challenges ahead and enable two-way dialogue between NHS managers, their staff and their stakeholders will become ever increasingly important.  Also ensuring that dialogue methods are cost-effective will be high on the agenda in these times of economic uncertainty.

Participate, INOVEM and independent consultant Brenda Cook have teamed together to offer a safe pair of hands for NHS managers in the form of their joint credentials as Approved Partners of The Consultation Institute.  By combining Brenda Cook’s close involvement with the Centre for Public Scrutiny and Department of Health, Participate’s strategic delivery of engagement for major service reconfiguration projects and INOVEM’s inclusive software, NHS management teams benefit from a unified approach with health-specific expertise.

The joint team are currently developing specific services to enable GP, staff and stakeholder engagement to explain and deliberate current NHS issues.


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