Improving health of NHS staff is key to better patient care

Making the NHS one of the best – and healthiest – employers in the country is a key part of improving patient care, according to the chief executive of the new body designed to promote OH within the health service.

John Rostill, CEO of Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, was named as chairman of NHS Employers in January.

NHS Employers, part of the NHS Confederation, was set up in November 2004 to raise the profile of OH and other workforce and HR issues within the NHS.

At the first meeting of the body’s governing assembly in London, Rostill told 150 senior NHS managers that improving patient care had to go hand in hand with improving the health of NHS staff.

“First and foremost, we are about improving patient care. But one of the best ways of achieving this is by continuing to improve the working lives of our staff and by making the NHS one of the best employers in the country,” he said.

“The role of the assembly is crucial in representing the reality of life in the NHS and the impact of the workforce agenda,” he added.

The organisation’s director, Steve Barnett, said staff needed to work in an environment that was “fair, diverse, challenging, flexible and rewarding”.

He added: “NHS Employers assembly plays a vital role, as for the first time it will be giving employers within the NHS an independent and meaningful voice on employment issues.”

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