Research Article

Managing change: the human aspects of the NHS.

BMJ 1993; 306 doi: (Published 09 January 1993) Cite this as: BMJ 1993;306:130
  1. E Lauermann
  1. King's Fund College, London.


    Whatever ministers actually decide about London following the Tomlinson report, the changes are likely to be large-scale and affect many staff and patients. Therefore how well those changes are handled becomes crucial to their success. The NHS has much to learn from other industries and organisations that have been through similar changes. Firstly, there needs to be an overall strategy for the change, rather than individual units trying to manage their own parts of it in an ad hoc way. Secondly, how well those made redundant are treated is an important factor in maintaining the morale of those who stay behind. For those affected by changes the NHS needs to provide full information, imagination, time, emotional and practical support, and money. Though decisions need to be made quickly, their implementation should take as much time as is necessary.