Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Happier hospitals means healthier patients

06.08.2007
– according to a new study from the University of Leeds

The National Inquiry into Management and Medicine looked at hospitals across the UK, focussing on the often troubled relationships between doctors and NHS managers. It found that where the two sides have formed a genuine alliance, the health service runs more efficiently – and patient outcomes are improved.

Frictions between doctors and managers have been well documented. And the new research, led by Professor Ian Kirkpatrick of the Leeds University Business School, blames poor relationships between the two sides for the fact that increased productivity in hospitals has not kept pace with the rise in spending.

“It can be difficult for doctors and managers to get on,” said Becky Malby, Director of the University’s Centre for Innovation in Health Management, which published the research. “But our study shows that where the two sides work together, everyone can benefit.”

And now the centre hopes to use the good examples set by some hospitals to improve relationships in the others.

“There has been a tendency to think that these problems can be changed simply by changing management structures,” said Becky. “You find people fiddling about with structures when in fact it’s more important to get the actual relationships right.

“Managers and doctors are always going to have different points of view about the way the NHS should be run. But the places which succeed are those where they have transcended this and where they see these different points of view as a strength.”

Becky points to power struggles within the NHS as a source of difficulties: “Over the past 20 years, general managers began to develop a power base to rival that of the doctors,” she said. The report says the first step in developing productive relationships is for the two sides to be willing to work together – and to take a genuine interest in each other’s work and pool their resources.

“The business of the NHS should be health, not just managing the money,” said Becky. “The questions they should ask are: ‘Are we doing the best for our patients?’ and ‘how could we do it better?’

“In the best places, the chief executives are genuinely interested in the patients. And we know that where there’s a good relationship, clinical outcomes for patients are better.”

Now the team plans to bring managers and health professionals together to encourage the best-performing hospitals to spread their good practice to the others. The first step will be a workshop in September which will put forward good examples, using ‘buddying and mentoring schemes’ to pair hospitals with others who would benefit from their advice. These long-term relationships will spread the message that co-operation is key to making the NHS do the best possible job for its patients.

“Both parties will get something out of it,” said Becky. “We want them each to ask ‘Can we find a hospital which is doing something better than us – or support one that isn’t?’ And of course if it’s done on a peer-to-peer basis people are going to be much more receptive.”

Key findings

The National Inquiry into Management and Medicine states: “The NHS is obsessed with money not with clinical care. This report shows that NHS organisations need to focus first and foremost on patients and their treatment and care and that should be modelled at the top of the NHS. General Management cannot ‘manage’ without knowing the business it is in.” It says the answer is not in structures but in a re-focusing of the organisation’s energy and ways of working: “This means learning what it is like to be a manager if you are a doctor, and what it is like to be a doctor if you are manager.”

Among its recommendations are:

•The NHS should set the direction and expectations for the service, but allow individual trusts to develop their own metrics.

•Chief Executives should stop moving from trust to trust – and where they do move, should ensure a succession plan is in place to conserve productive relationships rather than destroy them.

•Commissioners and providers should be locally accountable.

•Clinicians and management should be involved in the development of performance data.

•Both sides should talk to staff, listen to their experiences of working together, and assess whether their real-life stories suggest the working relationship is productive – or obstructive.

•Medical students should be taught about management earlier in their education, with the curriculum embedding the notion that management is core business for doctors.

Simon Jenkins | alfa
Further information:
http://www.leeds.ac.uk

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Drone vs. truck deliveries: Which create less carbon pollution?
31.05.2017 | University of Washington

nachricht New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New 3-D model predicts best planting practices for farmers

26.06.2017 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

New research reveals impact of seismic surveys on zooplankton

26.06.2017 | Life Sciences

Correct connections are crucial

26.06.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>