Key actions identified
- Immediately develop a shared view of how change happens in the NHS and what national bodies should do to catalyse it.
- Develop the current blend of organisational levers (‘prod organisations’) to best support change.
- Invest far more in support for change (‘proactive support’), starting with a coherent improvement strategy for the NHS in England.
- Focus action on people who work in the NHS (‘people-focused’).
This report asks: how best to design national policy on the NHS to accelerate improvements to health care?
We argue that national bodies’ efforts to effect change follow three broad types of approach:
- Type 1: ‘Prod organisations.’ This approach aims to direct, prod or nudge providers of care from the outside.
- Type 2: ‘Proactive support.’ This approach focuses on enabling organisations more directly to make the changes needed.
- Type 3: ‘People-focused.’ This approach includes both prods and proactive support, targeting NHS staff rather than organisations, as well as actions to inspire, engage and involve staff.
We have identified the following seven success factors for change at any level of the health system, but particularly locally in organisations:
- Committed and respected leadership that engages staff.
- A culture hospitable to, and supportive of, change.
- Management practices that ensure execution and implementation.
- Capabilities and skills to identify and solve problems.
- Data and analytics that measure and communicate impact.
- Resources and support for change.
- An enabling environment which supports and drives change.
These seven factors are not consistently present in the NHS – meaning efforts to improve services and make changes are more difficult than they need to be. Our analysis identifies particular barriers to change in four areas: recognition of the need to change, having the motivation to change, headspace to make change happen, and the capability to execute change.
This infographic gives the headlines and key recommendations from our report 'Constructive Comfort: Accelerating change in th...
This report looks at how five UK trusts built quality improvement capability at scale in their organisations.
A compilation of published research about the key barriers to improvement in the NHS.
You might also like...
Read about the nine expert organisations selected to provide a deep dive into seven key policy areas affecting young people's...
Our response to the Care Quality Commission’s annual assessment of the state of health and social care in England.
Health Foundation response to the Cabinet Office and Department of Health and Social Care Advancing our health: prevention in...
Health Foundation @HealthFdn
Poverty is bad for the nation's health. @JoBibbyTHF blogged about the links between poverty and health earlier in… https://t.co/yM2Mm147KFFollow us on Twitter
Work with us
We look for talented and passionate individuals as everyone at the Health Foundation has an important role to play.View current vacancies
The Q Community
Q is an initiative connecting people with improvement expertise across the UK.Find out more