Culture of the NHS to be investigated by parliamentary committee


The culture of the NHS and the way this impacts on patients is to be investigated by MSPs on the Health and Sport Committee, who are today asking NHS staff for their views.

In an inquiry announced today, the Committee will be looking at a number of issues related to this theme including how change is managed in the NHS and the impact that this has on staff. 

NHS boards have a duty to demonstrate that staff are: well informed, appropriately trained and developed, involved in decisions, treated fairly and consistently and provided with a continuously improving and safe working environment. The Committee is interested in exploring how well this is working across the country.

The first part of the inquiry will focus on staff governance and will look at whether staff are managed fairly and effectively. The Committee has today issued a call for views and are asking those with an interest in this issue to contact them. The Committee plans to undertake a number of informal evidence sessions with patient groups, frontline staff and senior managers to inform their inquiry. 

Convener of the Health and Sport Committee Neil Findlay MSP said:

“The culture of the NHS has a fundamental impact on how our NHS is run and the quality of the services it provides. That there is an environment where staff are supported, empowered and feel confident about speaking out about issues they experience will be a major focus of this work.

“NHS staff are passionate about providing the best care they can. We are keen to hear the views of those who work in the NHS in Scotland. By hearing from people on the ground it will give us a much better idea about what is happening in our NHS up and down the country.” 

The Committee is asking for views on the following issues:

  • Does the NHS adequately implement the requirements of the staff governance standard?
  • Are there particular areas of the standard that it implements well?
  • Are there particular areas of the standard that are not implemented?

Following work on staff governance the Committee will then decide on the next phases of its inquiry which will consider clinical governance looking at the systems through which NHS organisations are accountable for continuously monitoring and improving the quality of their care and services. The Committee will also consider corporate governance. This will focus on leadership in the NHS and the systems in place for undertaking service reviews and change.

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