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New research study with Directors of Nursing in Wales & England

8 November 2013

A new research study is about to start in the School of Healthcare Sciences that will explore resilience and coping in NHS Executive Nurse Directors. Led by Professor Daniel Kelly, with Dr Aled Jones and Professor Dinah Gould, the study will explore the experiences of these individuals in the wake of the recent Francis Inquiry into failings at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust. 

Existing research emphasises the key role that healthcare managers and senior leaders play in creating a culture of open communication. For example, in areas where employees feel able to provide upward feedback, managers tend to demonstrate behaviours that reinforce to employees that they were safe to raise such concerns. Additionally, employees reported feeling listened to and respected, especially when leaders sought their input. However, research into psychological safety and communication in healthcare environments have focused primarily on encouraging or training employees to speak out about concerns. As a result more research is needed to explore leadership behaviours and practices and how these shape the culture of organisations such as the NHS - including the way that concerns are managed and responded to. 

Senior nurse leaders, such as Nurse Directors, play a key role in the creation of a culture of compassion and safety but these individuals also need to be resilient in the face of competing demands. It is this aspect of their role that this study will examine. The research team has been working closely with the Chief Nursing Officers for Wales and England to recruit participants to the study. 

The research is funded by the General Nursing Council Trust and builds on a recent study by Professor Kelly and Dr Jones, funded by the Older People's Commissioner for Wales, into perceptions of whistleblowing in those caring for vulnerable older people.

Cover for the research report, 'Raising Concerns in the Workplace' by Professor Daniel Kelly and Dr Aled Jones.