PROGRAMME OF RESEARCH ON EVALUATING MODELS OF ORGANISATION AND DELIVERY OF HEALTH SERVICES SM105 CALL FOR PROPOSALS ON STAFF MORALE IN MENTAL HEALTH IN-PATIENT CARE Background Following its call in 2002 for a series of proposals concerning in-patient care for people with mental health problems (including a literature review on staff morale), the SDO Programme now wishes to commission empirical research about staff morale in in-patient mental health services. Staff in in-patient areas have to cope with the pressures of working with the most severely ill, while arguably more attention has, in the past, been given to their community counterparts in terms of policy focus and training. Their work is additionally more stressful because of bed pressures, high levels of violence and self harm and in some cases, poor ward environments. This area is characterised by problems of recruitment and retention, high vacancy rates, the frequent use of bank, agency and temporary staff, with consequent higher costs.. This all leads to discontinuity of care for patients, the human and financial costs of burn out and finally an overall barrier to developing a skilled and enthusiastic workforce. The 2002 call lead to the production of a literature review of the evidence concerning, inter alia, the causes of poor staff morale (Cahill et al, 2004). This can be downloaded from the SDO website: http://www.sdo.lshtm.ac.uk/pdf/evalmodels_barkham_report.pdf. The Cahill review reported that the evidence base in respect of the causes of poor staff morale was weak. Most studies were of low quality and, in particular, only one looked at more than one site; and different types of measures were used in each study, making it difficult to compare across studies. 1 Current call for proposals: Empirical study of the causes of poor staff morale on mental health in-patient units The SDO now wishes to commission an empirical study about the factors influencing poor (or good) staff morale. This study should include morale of staff working on mental health in-patient units for children and young people, in addition to those which look after adults. The context within which staff are working will be relevant to the study, which should therefore include a discussion of the policy context in which staff are working in in-patient mental health units. The study should also include data about specific staffing issues such as vacancy rates, turnover, and issues concerning recruitment and retention. Sickness absence, stress and burnout should also be considered. Staff who have worked in in-patient settings, but now work in other mental health services, such as crisis resolution teams and assertive outreach teams, should form part of the study, as well as staff currently working in in-patient settings. Applicants should consider the following factors, which may affect staff morale: • characteristics of the service users, such as case mix; • characteristics of the staff group, such as the mix of professions, levels of training and staff/patient ratios; • organisational issues, such as team working, culture, climate, styles of leadership, formal and informal organisational structures; and • the physical characteristics of the in-patient units. Please note that this study is NOT about interventions to improve staff morale, but about the factors which affect it. Methods A large, multi-site study is needed to provide sufficient high quality data. Both qualitative and quantitative research methods are likely to be necessary. Applicants should demonstrate that they have a research team in place with the appropriate research skills. Indication should be provided about how the research team would work with the SDO Programme and relevant stakeholders to build in an active programme for disseminating their research findings in policy, practice and research contexts. One research project will be funded. Outputs 2 The principal output of this research project will be a detailed report containing an account of the research and its findings. The report will also need to include: • A short and coherent executive summary of no more than three pages; • A full account of the methods used in the research project, including a critical appraisal of these methods; • Rigorous and detailed conclusions that attempt to examine the causes of poor and good staff morale in mental health inpatient units; • A commentary that indicates how these findings relate to current policy and practice in the NHS, and the key lessons to be learned; and • An agenda that establishes the key areas for further research and the appropriate methods that should be used in this research. Reference Cahill, J. et al (2004) Systematic Review of staff morale in inpatient units, SDO website Application process The process of commissioning SM105 will be in one stage. Applicants must submit proposals using the Full proposal application form. All forms are available as Word 97 files or in Rich text format from: • the SDO website: http://www.sdo.lshtm.ac.uk/calls.htm or • by Email from: Michael.Yates@LSHTM.ac.uk Please do not use any previously obtained version of an SDO Programme application form. Applicants for SM105 should submit proposals by 3rd August 2005 at 1.00 pm. Applicants are asked to submit proposals to: Michael Yates Commissioning Manager NCCSDO London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine 99 Gower Street London WC1E 6AZ An original plus TWENTY-FIVE HARD COPIES of the completed forms should be submitted together with a copy on disk or CD. Please note we will not accept electronic submissions or hand written proposals. 3 No late applications will be considered. Guidance notes for the completion of the forms can be found at the front of the application form. Applicants should note that value for money is an important consideration in respect of this research. Proposed costs of the project should not exceed the limits stated below. Funding of up to £300,000 is available for SM105 and the project should take no longer than 3 years to complete. It is envisaged that this project will start in January 2006 however this may be subject to change. Please clearly label the outside of the envelope in which you submit your proposal with the following: ‘Tender Documents SM105’. This will enable us to identify proposals and keep them aside so that they may all be opened together after the closing date and time. To ensure the efficient and equitable answering of additional queries, all questions about this new scheme should be sent by e-mail only to Michael.Yates@LSHTM.ac.uk with the words ‘Staff Morale Question’ in the subject header. Questions received by 6th July 2005 will have generic answers posted on the SDO website (www.sdo.LSHTM.ac.uk) by 13th July 2005. No other correspondence about this call can be entered into. Teams should ensure that their proposal complies with the Research Governance Framework, which can be found on the Department of Health website, or via a link on the SDO website under the ‘Call for Proposals’ page. The SDO Programme will look favourably on proposals that include an element of research capacity building. Before funding, successful teams will be required to provide proof of research ethics committee approval for their project, if this is required (information regarding this can be found on the SDO website under the ‘Calls for Proposals’ page). We anticipate that there will be informal discussions with NCCSDO throughout the duration of the project regarding the final report. 4 In addition, applicants should indicate how they will work with the SDO Programme and relevant stakeholders to build in an active program for disseminating their research findings in policy, practice and research contexts. Applicants should visit the SDO website: http://www.sdo.lshtm.ac.uk to familiarise themselves with the work of the SDO Programme in general and with previous scoping exercises in other topic areas. Successful applicants may be required to present their completed work to the SDO Programme Board. 5 This document was published by the National Coordinating Centre for the Service Delivery and Organisation (NCCSDO) research programme, managed by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. The management of the Service Delivery and Organisation (SDO) programme has now transferred to the National Institute for Health Research Evaluations, Trials and Studies Coordinating Centre (NETSCC) based at the University of Southampton. Prior to April 2009, NETSCC had no involvement in the commissioning or production of this document and therefore we may not be able to comment on the background or technical detail of this document. Should you have any queries please contact email@example.com.