Give me your ideas for making the NHS better, Hancock urges staff

Minister says he’ll listen to what staff say about how to improve the NHS

Minister says he’ll listen to what staff say about how to improve the NHS

Health and social care secretary for England, Matt Hancock. Picture: Alamy

NHS staff are to be asked for their ideas about how to improve the service, with the RCN urging nurses to participate to give ministers an 'accurate picture'.

Health and social care secretary Matt Hancock used a speech in Bristol today to announce a digital platform through which staff can submit their recommendations in five areas. Speaking at the city's Southmead Hospital, Mr Hancock unveiled the Talk Health and Care platform that staff can access via their phones or tablets to give their views on issues to do with:

  • Being equipped for the job.
  • Feeling valued and respected.
  • Bullying, discrimination and violence.
  • Having access to training and development.
  • Feeling empowered.

The health and social care secretary said: ‘Nobody knows what needs improving more than the staff: we are listening to you, we want your views, and we will use them to ensure the long-term plan for the NHS helps you.’

RCN England director Tom Sandford urged staff to submit their views to provide ‘ministers with an accurate picture of what is happening in people’s working lives’. But he said the platform could not be a substitute for raising concerns with managers and said if ministers failed to act on staff's suggestions, the platform risked being just a ‘talking shop’.

Focus on improving IT

Mr Hancock announced plans at last week's at NHS Expo in Manchester to improve the health service’s IT and its ability to embrace new technology.

He said in-house teams would manage small contracts, instead of big consultancy firms selling trusts their technology and then ‘marking their own homework’.

On a personal note, Mr Hancock used his Bristol speech to thank staff at Southmead Hospital who cared for his sister last year after she sustained a serious head injury.

‘We won’t put assaults or bullying into the “too difficult” pile’

Health and social care secretary Matt Hancock used his Bristol speech to promise action on assaults and bullying in the NHS.

The minister expressed concern about the levels of assault, harassment and bullying experienced by NHS staff. He said the issue would not be ‘put in the too difficult pile’.

He said body cameras have been issued to 465 ambulance crews in England and said NHS Improvement would work to improve staff's access to free mental health services.

Related material

Talk Health and Care website

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