Health minister Andy Burnham’s NHS work experience results in staff engagement strategy

Plans to better engage NHS staff and empower them to lead reform of the health service have been outlined by the government.

The plans follow a back-to-the-floor work-shadowing exercise conducted by health minister Andy Burnham throughout the second half of 2006.

Over this period, he spent seven days with workers to get an insight into the day-to-day experiences of frontline staff.

Burnham said: “The NHS is changing, but the structures to help staff through changing times have not always kept pace. I hope this report will be the start of a continuing dialogue I hope to have with the NHS about how staff can be better supported through change.”

The report has led to new proposals, including:

  • Consideration of what additional support can be offered to staff facing new roles as more care is delivered in the community and outside hospitals.
  • A review by the NHS Staff council of how Agenda for Change is benefiting NHS staff on the lowest pay in terms of pay and access to training.
  • Proposals for an ‘NHS constitution’ – a binding expression of NHS core values expressed in a constitution that could lead to adoption in 2008.

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