· 1 min read · News

Keogh review: The 'wake-up call' hospital trusts needed, says NHS HR director


The findings of a review into the quality of care and treatment provided by 14 hospital trusts in England have been branded a wake up call by the HR director at Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust, Graham White.

The review, started in February, was led by medical director for the NHS and England Bruce Keogh to look into death rates at 14 NHS trusts, following the Mid-Staffordshire hospital scandal.

Speaking to HR magazine, White said the trusts will welcome the review and it has now given HR managers a voice.

"This is a wake-up call from Bruce and the key now is for staff, unions, management and patients to all work together," White said. "It will be a change as we've never had a patient-led NHS before."


The review identified many challenges facing the NHS and listed eight ambitions for improvement, which it hopes will tackle the causes of poor care.

Keogh said he wants to see the trust make "significant progress" towards achieving this improvement in two years.

One of the ambitions was for all NHS organisations to understand the positive impact that happy and engaged staff have on patient outcomes, including mortality rates.

The review said it wants all NHS organisations to be thinking about innovative ways of engaging staff.

"There is an absolute correlation between motivated and happy staff and good patient care," said White.

"We're not being asked to climb Everest with these improvements and I believe if the trusts all come together as one unit then there is nothing we can't deliver."

Improving patient care

Other ambitions in the review included making demonstrable progress towards reducing avoidable deaths in hospitals, and making nursing staff levels and skill mix should reflect the caseload and the severity of illness of patients.

Another ambition is for junior doctors to not just be seen as the clinical leaders of tomorrow, but of today - the NHS will join the best organisations in the world by harnessing the energy and creativity of its 50,000 young doctors, the review said.

Chief executive of the NHS Employers organisation Dean Royles said its important to use the mortality indicators mentioned in the report and use them as a catalyst for change.

"When exploring those trusts that have fallen below expected mortality levels, it is vital to look at those organisations whose outcomes were better than forecast," said Royles.

"We can also learn from their culture, leadership, staffing and how they engage employees as a further opportunity to share and spread what works best for patient care."

Keogh said the review should be used as a platform for debate and warned against hasty decisions and pointing the finger of blame.