We all know that frontline clinical staff in the NHS have a tough job. No one doubts their commitment and dedication.
A recent update on Facebook provided the inspiration for this article. The person in my network is based in Australia rather than the UK. Yet it highlighted a common issue across the globe.
In a nutshell the update talked about his Dad being in hospital for over two weeks. Despite this still no clear answers.
I responded with a comment that medicine is often a process of elimination. He acknowledge that this was the case.
Then he added what his real frustration was.
The lack of communication and feedback
I am sure that no doctor or leader or manager sets out with the intention of not communicating or providing feedback.
Yet it’s surprising just how often this comes up as an issue.
Why is this? I think there are probably a whole host of reasons:
- People get busy
- The problem becomes all of the focus
- They see the immediate stakeholder (in this case the patient) but not the wider stakeholders (in this case the relatives)
- They forget about the human dimension
So is there an easy answer?
Making a conscious effort to stop and think about all of the people who would need to be kept up to date would be a good start point.
Then think about the best approaches to providing the feedback. In the UK people are often visiting when the most senior doctors are not around. Are there other ways of making sure the relatives get the information they need?
We should never forget the excellent job medics do and at the same time it’s important to remember the importance of communication and feedback.
Duncan Brodie of Goals and Achievements helps health professionals to become highly effective leaders.