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Academics analyse ways of improving NHS training of staff in critical care

Published: 
9 May 2005

Specialists from the University of Southampton's Health Care Innovation Unit and School of Management are joining forces to help the National Health Service tackle staffing issues within critical care units in the South.

The HIOW Workforce Development Confederation has commissioned the research which is looking at the knowledge and skills needed to care effectively for patients with acute nursing needs in wards and units involved in accident and emergency, high dependency, medical assessment and theatre services. This would prevent sick patients being diverted to critical care and intensive care units. The NHS through the WDC has worked with the University of Southampton in tailor making programmes to match the specific skills and competencies required.

Much NHS money is currently spent on expensive agency staff in many critical care areas. Managers are seeking to use their budgets more efficiently to provide better value for money across the services.

Professor Debra Humphris is leading the project team of Dr Con Connell, Dr Edgar Meyer and Amanda Lees. They are following the experiences of a group of NHS staff undergoing training in early 2005. She explained: "We want to find out how effective this work has been and aim to recommend ways in which systems can be improved in future. The combination of skills within the research team, from Health Care and Management will enable us to apply expert analysis to the data to present a complete picture."

Dr Con Connell and Dr Edgar Meyer from the School of Management have both worked extensively in the field of healthcare management. Dr Connell added: "This research will provide a valuable opportunity to help staff reflect on their training needs, and on the ways in which they are able to apply their learning back on the ward."

Notes for editors

Professor Humphris leads the University's pioneering New Generation Project in the Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Sciences. This has brought together pre qualifying professionals involved in health and social care in a programme of common learning.

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