Intended for healthcare professionals

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Staff: the major asset of a health service

BMJ 1999; 318 doi: (Published 13 March 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;318:a

What's the most important asset of a health service? Its hospitals, knowledge, equipment, plans? No, clearly its staff. The same is true of most businesses, but health services (certainly Britain's National Health Service) tend not to be good with their “human resource” policies. Just as patients are expected to be grateful, so staff must “soldier on.” This week's journal offers several insights into health service staff.

Aitken and others have produced data on how many operations surgical trainees in the NHS perform without supervision (p 702). The …

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