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‘Bureaucratised management’ damaging patient care

10 September 2013

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High quality care is stilted by “unclear goals” and “bureaucratised management” a study has found. 

Published in BMJ Quality and Safety, the research used interviews, surveys case studies and data sets to look into quality issues in the NHS. 

Researchers from the University of Leicester found that although there are “bright spots” of excellent caring and practice there is also “considerable inconsistency”. 

A number of institutional and regulatory bodies have overlapping functions, making it hard to get insight into healthcare organisations. 

The study concluded: “Our results highlight the importance of clear, challenging goals for high-quality care. 

“Organisations need to put the patient at the centre of all they do, get smart intelligence, focus on improving organisational systems and nurture caring cultures by ensuring that staff feel valued, respected, engaged and supported.” 

Dean Royles, chief executive of the NHS Employers organisation said it is “imperative” that the NHS reflects on such reports to improve care. 

He said: “We need to continue to build confidence in staff that if they raise concerns they will be seen as an essential component of safe patient care. 

“The many cases of exemplary and innovative care [described in the report] are the lifeblood of the NHS and it’s vital that these are celebrated and shared systematically, helping to spread improvement throughout the NHS.” 

Culture and behaviour in the English National Health Service: overview of lessons from a large multimethod study is available to view [paywalled] on the BMJ Quality and Safety website.