NHS league tables get backing of HR

HR professionals in the NHS have backed the Government’s controversial
system which names and shames underperforming trusts.

Under the star rating scheme, which was announced last week by Health
Secretary Alan Milburn, the best performing hospitals will be awarded three
stars and the worst performers no stars.

If improvements are not made within a certain period of time at zero-star
hospitals, managers from the best hospitals will be brought in to raise
standards.

The Association of Healthcare Human Resource Management’s new president
Tracy Myhill thinks the star rating system is a positive step that will help
drive up standards across the NHS.

"I think what people must consider is what the purpose of the system
is, or what the aim is of any published grading system is. And the purpose in
this case is to improve performance.

"As the system develops, there will be more HR indicators. Showing
where and what the problems are helps us collectively raise our game across the
whole of the NHS," she said.

Myhill acknowledges that staff morale could be hit at hospitals that receive
no stars but said that as long as they receive the proper support they will
benefit in the long run.

"I recognise there are some concerns about demoralising staff at the
no-star trusts, but as long as the information is accurate and we are working
with them to help them improve, then this system will be good for the
NHS."

Nigel Crisp, Department of Health chief executive, speaking at AHHRM’s
national conference last week, warned that organisations which receive a no
stars in the newly published ratings must improve or face the consequences.

"What we want is the board of these trusts to come up with a plan of
how they will improve the situation. We want good results in a timeframe of
between three and 12 months depending on the circumstances," he said.

By Ross Wigham

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