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NHS must show that staff engagement work is effective, researchers say

BMJ 2015; 351 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.h3795 (Published 13 July 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;351:h3795
  1. Matthew Limb
  1. 1BMJ Careers

The NHS should do more to assess whether its efforts to raise levels of staff engagement are effective in improving outcomes, researchers say.

Katie Bailey, a professor at the University of Sussex who has analysed studies of employee engagement, said that the dearth of research by the NHS on the topic was “disappointing.” She said, “We were really quite surprised at how little academic research had taken place in the UK in the health sector.”

Bailey, of the university’s business and management school, was lead author and principal investigator of a study evaluating the evidence on employee engagement and its potential benefits to NHS staff.1 The study was funded by the National Institute for Health Research’s (NIHR) Health Services and Delivery Research programme.

The report said that, overall, evidence showed that people who felt engaged tended to perform better, help colleagues more, and be more satisfied with their work and life in general. But most of the published academic evidence, …

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