Free Content The new NHS: modern, definable? A questionnaire to assess knowledge of, and attitudes to, the new NHS

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Objective To determine whether healthcare professionals were aware of the key principles of the new NHS.

Setting Major teaching centre for obstetrics, gynaecology and neonatal medicine and tertiary referral centre for perinatal medicine in Northern Ireland.

Design Two-part questionnaire.

Participants All nursing, midwifery and medical staff working in the hospital over a one-week period in March 2001.

Results Eighty-eight percent (203/230) of questionnaires circulated were returned.

Part One Only 51% of clinicians could name the Secretary of State for Health, although 95% could identify the Minister for Health and Social Services in the Northern Ireland Assembly. Seventy-nine percent were unaware that there was a 'new NHS'.

Part Two Only 27.7% of staff demonstrated a good understanding of the audit process. Less than 43% could outline one way in which risk management and increased accountability might make a difference to their clinical practice. Only 44% felt that the principles of the new NHS were of any value in clinical practice.

Conclusions The majority of individuals surveyed were unfamiliar with the key principles of the new NHS. The need for change has been recognised at a central level but multidisciplinary education at a local and practical level is needed to make a true transition towards a culture of clinical governance. Much work still needs to be done to convince staff that quality initiatives are essential in the provision of a first class service.


Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2002

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