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SM105 CALL FOR PROPOSALS ON STAFF MORALE IN MENTAL

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					        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.


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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



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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.


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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.




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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.




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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 sdo@southampton.ac.uk.

				
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Description: SM105 CALL FOR PROPOSALS ON STAFF MORALE IN MENTAL