Following a work-shadowing exercise conducted by health minister Andy Burnham, the Department of Health has published new proposals for better interaction with staff in the health service and plans to empower NHS employees to lead its reform and protect its values.
The proposals include plans to manage increases in patient expectations, consideration of the merits of a voluntary scheme for short-term graduate guarantees to some healthcare professionals and of offering additional support to staff in new roles.
Additionally, the department is proposing a review of the effects of the Agenda for Change on NHS staff at the lowest pay levels and the publication of a constitution by 2008 embodying the core values of the NHS.
Mr Burnham commented that it was only through interacting with NHS staff that the task of formulating a reform programme for the health service could be developed.
"The NHS is changing, but the structures to help staff through changing times have not always kept pace," he said.
"I hope this report will be the start of a continuing dialogue I hope to have with the NHS about how staff can be better supported through change," he added.
Last year, the Department of Health announced that from January 2007, the NHS would begin to measure the length of time taken for a patient to receive treatment by the health services following a GP referral, with an 18 week target set out.See all the latest jobs in Medical Devices