Corporatising Compassion? A Contemporary History Study of English NHS Trusts' Nursing Strategy Documents

Sarah Ramsey, Jane Brooks, Michelle Briggs, Christine E Hallett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The purpose of this contemporary history study is to analyse nursing strategy documents produced by NHS Trusts in England in the period 2009–2013, through a process of discourse analysis. In 2013 the Francis Report on the Mid-Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust was published. The Report highlighted the full range of organisational failures in a Trust that valued financial efficiency over patient care. The analysis that followed, however, dwelt heavily on the failings of the nurses. Nursing strategy documents at that time served to set the future direction for NHS Trusts, prescribing specific value frameworks for each nursing workforce. However, the values chosen frequently conflicted with each other pitting nursing values against a managerial trope. It is argued that documents provided a response to wider NHS concerns and high-profile failures in care, particularly the Francis Report, paying lip service to staff engagement whilst maintaining a corporate focus. Nursing values were placed firmly within a managerialist discourse, one that has needed to be re-evaluated in the current Covid-19 pandemic. Wider implications of the research suggest discussion of value conflict may be beneficial within nursing education and a truly local approach to strategy creation would potentially promote staff buy-in to strategy documents.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12486
Number of pages14
JournalNursing Inquiry
Issue number4
Early online date9 Mar 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2022


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