Report backs patient-centred care
Published on 23 May 2013 11:30 AM
NHS employees should be required to take mandatory classes in 'patient-centred care', according to an independent health charity.
Nearly three-quarters (73%) of health service leaders do not believe that quality of care is given 'sufficient priority', a new report by The King's Fund has revealed.
The report, 'Patient-centred leadership: Rediscovering our purpose,' summarises the main findings of the Francis Inquiry into the failings of care in Mid Staffordshire and sets out what needs to be done to avoid similar failures in the future.
Two out of five NHS staff cited a lack of time or resources as the biggest barrier to improving quality of care for patients, with more than a quarter (28%) blaming the health service's 'organisational culture'.
NHS targets criticised
The report criticises the NHS's 'top-down, target-driven approach' and claims frontline staff and board members should undertake training to 'understand the values of patient-centred care' and remind them of their personal responsibility to provide the best care.
Only 14% of the 900 NHS bosses quizzed by researchers thought the quality of leadership in the NHS was 'good' or 'very good', the study found.
Health service bosses need to ensure that high standards of care are delivered consistently by setting clear objectives and standards for care quality, the report said.
The NHS has a 'long road to travel'
Nicola Hartley, director of leadership development at The Kings Fund, said the survey suggested the NHS had 'a long road to travel' to achieve genuine patient-centred care.
'It's the responsibility of all NHS organisations and professionals to make care patient-centred - to put patients' needs above those of the organisation, team or profession,' Ms Hartley said.
'We know that most NHS staff are intrinsically motivated to help people who are at their most vulnerable.
'It is a failure of leadership if those staff consistently face barriers to treating patients and their families well.'
Ms Hartley said that leaders throughout the NHS, especially those at board level, need to make patient-centred care central to the organisational culture.
'These kinds of changes do not occur by good intention; they require time and commitment from ward to board to achieve sustainable change,' she added.
Copyright Press Association 2013