The union for health and care managers

Home  >  News & Campaigns  >  News Articles  >  News: Summit 2018 - Caring for the people who care
Wednesday 14 November 2018

Summit 2018 - Caring for the people who care

By Alison Moore

Photo: Stefano Cagnoni

Working in healthcare can be emotionally exhausting, even occasionally traumatic, but many staff don’t get the chance to deal with the emotional burden of their work, Summit delegates attending a Management Life workshop heard.

Kate Milton, who leads work on staff experience for NHS England, said the pace of life in the NHS meant staff often struggled to find time “for a quiet word with their manager, a few minutes to unwind and prepare for the rest of the shift, or a more formal debrief”.

NHS England is working to change that, she said, through a project examining the relationship be-tween the patient and staff experiences of care, which uses “powerful stories” to highlight the emotional impact of caring on staff.

By examining the experiences staff go through when they deliver care, the programme aims to identify ways to improve recruitment and retention, increase efficiency and deliver more innovative approaches to care. A positive staff experience is also linked to fewer medical errors and reduced mortality rates, Milton added.

She warned that failing to address the pressures on staff at work can also hit an organisation’s “bottom line”: around 30% of NHS sick leave is due to workplace stress and recruiting replacements for stressed-out staff who leave costs an average of £4,500 each time.

Milton’s team are looking at a number of initiatives, including adapting commissioning procedures to recognise the need for compassion in the workplace, and a pilot study to examine what matters most to staff. Some of this work involves bringing together staff and patients to discuss their experiences and how they can be improved, Milton said.

The NHS England team are gathering “staff stories” which focus concentrate on the realities of working in the NHS and are designed to provoke discussion on what can be changed. Leaders have a key role in this, Milton explained, because compassionate leadership is important in shaping culture. “Leaders needs to pay attention to staff, to understand their challenges and difficulties, empathise with them and ultimately take thoughtful appropriate action,” she said.

In discussion with delegates, Milton and her colleague Michail Sanidas suggested board meetings in NHS organisations should discuss stories from staff as well as patients, and that the Care Quality Commission should include compassionate leadership as a factor in assessing the standard of leader-ship in NHS organisations.


If you enjoyed this article, please sign up to receive our free monthly emails - and we’ll keep you up to date on news and events in health and care management

MiP Chief Executive Jon Restell

The Westminster Government is proceeding with regulations to impose a cap of £95,000 on all exit payments in the public sector.

25 September 2020 | By MiP
Two arrows merging with questionmark over them

MiP has responded to the Welsh Parliament Health, Social Care and Sport Committee inquiry into the Covid-19 outbreak on behalf of our members in Wales.

10 September 2020 | By MiP

NHS England and NHS Improvement have launched an executive suite offer aimed at supporting lifelong learning for executive leaders across their careers.

09 September 2020 | By MiP
English currency in notes and coins

MiP urges the government to give all NHS staff an early and significant pay rise.

28 August 2020 | By MiP
Two arrows merging with questionmark over them

MiP Chief Executive Jon Restell has responded to the announcement by Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, that Public Health England will be abolished and a new National Institute for Health Protection created.

18 August 2020 | By MiP

NHS England has released the long-awaited NHS People Plan, which was produced in consultation with trade unions, including MiP.

03 August 2020

MiP Chief Executive Jon Restell responds to Matt Hancock's negative comments about NHS managers.

30 July 2020 | By MiP
English currency in notes and coins

MiP Chief Executive Jon Restell responds to the public sector pay announcement.

21 July 2020 | By MiP
Woman holding her head in her hands at a desk

MiP is campaigning for fair overtime payments for all NHS staff during the coronavirus crisis. Our survey results show that MiP members have been working significantly increased hours with no possibility of time off in lieu during the pandemic.

14 July 2020 | By MiP

Responding to media reports in the Guardian that the Prime Minister is considering a significant reorganisation of the NHS, to be cemented in a bill later this summer, Jon Restell, MiP Chief Executive, said:

13 July 2020 | By MiP
Find us

Centenary House, 93-95 Borough High Street, London SE1 1NL

Copyright © 2018 MiP