University of Birmingham: HSMC
July 2016 - Addressing Workforce Challenges
in the NHS
Welcome to the latest edition of our Health Services Management Centre (HSMC) update in which we set out key highlights from our current programme of research, teaching and leadership development in relation to the health workforce and changing professions.

With a workforce of 1.4 million, the NHS is right in claiming that its greatest resource is its staff. Together with social care, the total workforce of 2.9 million accounts for 1 in 10 jobs in England. With over 300 occupations and a highly professionalised workforce, in adapting its staff to new models of care, the changing socio-demographics of its personnel, and in ensuring effective recruitment and retention of staff, the NHS faces major challenges.

HSMC's research and development work underpins and informs these current NHS and wider health policy debates and developments. This bulletin highlights some of this work addressing policy, practice and theory of health care workforce.
7 day working in the NHS
Professor Russell Mannion was co-author on a Lancet paper published in May 2016, based on a University of Birmingham-led NIHR study of the so-called "weekend effect" – the apparent increased mortality rates associated with weekend hospital admission.

The study did not find a "correlation between weekend staffing of hospital specialists and mortality risk for emergency admissions." However, as 7 day working is implemented, additional investigations will be needed to evaluate its impacts but in the meantime, the authors urge policy makers to be cautious "before attributing the weekend effect mainly to differences in specialist staffing."
More news stories >
Usman Khan, Interim Director at the European Health Management Association (EHMA), considers the fall-out from Brexit particularly on health research and academic partnership within the sector.

The political fall-out of Brexit continues to be felt but many were suprised that Jeremy Hunt was retained as Secretary of State for Health. Professor Mark Exworthy considers the consequences of this on relationships between the medical profession and the government.

And Michael Burrows looks at the role of the GP receptionist: under-researched (with much of the evidence dating back 20 to 40 years) yet of growing clinical importance, and in his viewpoint he outlines a large-scale research project he will be undertaking over the next four years. A seminar is due to be held in November - details to follow.
Visit our Viewpoints >
Understanding employee whistleblowing in health care
Professor Russell Mannion and Dr. Ross Millar (and colleagues) have been commissioned by the NIHR (HS&DR) to conduct a study of employee whistleblowing in health care. Health care staff must be able to raise concerns or 'blow the whistle' when faced with poor quality of services or unsafe care. NHS organisations are required by law to have policies which support whistle-blowers but recent hospital scandals and the findings of various surveys have shown that many staff feel unable to raising concerns and some NHS organisations fail to act when staff do so. Professor Mannion says:
"The research will involve reviewing the theoretical and empirical evidence from different industries, sectors and countries with regard to the policies that can help support (or inhibit) whistleblowing. It will also examine the legal framework for whistleblowing in the EU member states, and outline the lessons for the NHS from such comparisons."
Evaluation of Chief Registrar programme
Professor Mark Exworthy and Iain Snelling have been commissioned by the Royal College of Physicians to conduct an evaluation of a programme to support Chief Registrars, which emerged from the RCP’s Future Hospital initiative. This study will investigate the effectiveness of the Chief Registrar role, through considering the role of individuals and the contexts in which they work. The study will make recommendations for the future development of this role.
More research >
Priorities and difficult decisions in health and care:
7-9 September 2016
If you are faced with the challenges of commissioning and/or providing high quality and equitable care in a challenging financial climate, this conference is for you.

On 7-9 September the University of Birmingham will be hosting global experts on the topic of priority setting and decision making in health and care. The second day of the conference is 'NHS and Local Government Day' with a special event, sponsored by the Health Foundation: "Getting the most out of your budget – a roundtable discussion on how to set priorities in the English NHS". This day will also include a masterclass on navigating the legal pitfalls of priority setting, as well as sessions on: public health and local government; patient and public involvement in priority setting; and disinvestment and decommissioning. Click here to register for one or all three days.
visit the website >
Emotional labour - yellow hats are not just for builders:
9 September 2016
This is free one-day practical workshop on emotional labour, the role it plays in delivering compassionate care, and the ways to support staff in engaging in emotional labour. There is a waiting list for this event, but please get in touch if you would like to take part.
visit the website >
Evaluating integration - unlocking mysteries: 14 September 2016
One of the reasons for the somewhat patchy evidence base for integrated care is the complexity of researching such a wide variety of mechanisms and expected outcomes within different organisational and professional settings. In this research seminar, held in London and jointly hosted by the Health Services Management Centre and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, international expert Professor Bert Vrijhoef will share his experience of undertaking such research – the methods that work and the pitfalls to avoid.
visit the website >
NHS board culture and performance:
20 September 2016
In this seminar hosted jointly with Mills and Reeve, and aimed primarily at chairs and chief executives, we will share latest research insights and good practice in effectice and efficient oversight of patient safety and quality by hospital boards.
visit the website >
Inter-calated degree
in Health Management and Leadership
In autumn 2016, HSMC is launching a new inter-calated degree course for medical students, titled Health Management and Leadership. As part of the Population Sciences and Humanties inter-calated degree, the course comprises 3 specialist modules: Health services management, Leadership and Change management, and Improving quality and patient safety.

The course director is Professor Mark Exworthy.
visit the website >
Postgraduate MSc programmes
Have you ever thought about returning to academia to pick up where you left off with your undergraduate degree, or are you an experienced manager looking for a higher qualification to demonstrate your credentials? In an uncertain world, there is no better time to focus on developing your own ability to make sense of your environment and to think critically.

Our MSc programmes provide a challenging and inspiring study experience equipping participants with the knowledge, skills and confidence to develop both their careers and organisations.

We are still accepting applications
for courses commencing in September 2016, so register today and begin the next stage of your journey.
visit the website >
PhD/MPhil Health Services Management
and PhD/MPhil Social Policy
These doctoral degrees offer the opportunity to conduct an original, in-depth piece of research on a topic of your choice. Our doctoral research students form an integral part of a thriving community conducting internationally leading research with relevance to practice and policy, and training the next generation of practitioners and policy-makers.
visit the website >
Bespoke methodology courses
HSMC also offer a range of bespoke course on methodological issues, such as focus group research, participant-observation or undertaking literature reviews and synthesis, which can be tailored to your needs and delivered either at our centre in Birmingham or on-site at your organisation.

If you are interested in commissioning one of these courses, please contact Dr Nicola Gale or Dr Kerry Allen.
Recent Publications
Chambers, N. (2016) Board leadership in the wake of Francis: challenges, changes and achievements. Health Service Journal, 126(6489): 19

Exworthy, M., Hyde, P. and McDonald-Kuhne, P. (2016) Knights and knaves in the English medical profession: the case of Clinical Excellence Awards. Journal of Social Policy, 45 (1): 83-99

Exworthy, M., Macfarlane, F. and Willmott, M. (2015) "NHS managers: from administrators to entrepreneurs?" In: Waldorff, S.B., Pedersen, A.R., Fitzgerald, L. and Ferlie, E. (eds) Managing change: from health policy to practice. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. pp.139-154

Aldridge, C., Bion, J., Boyal, A., Chen, YF, Mannion, R. et al (2016) Weekend specialist intensity and admission mortality in acute hospital trusts in England: a cross-sectional study. The Lancet, 388(10040): 178-186

Jelphs, K., Dickinson, H. and Miller, R. (2016) Working in Teams. Bristol: Policy Press.

Needham, C. and Mangan, C. (2016) The Twenty-First Century Public Servant: working at three boundaries of public and private. Public Money and Management, 36(4): 265-272

Hewison, A. and Sawbridge, Y. (2015) Organisational support for nurses in acute care settings: a rapid evidence review. International Journal of Healthcare, 1(1): 48-60
View all recent publications >
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