Many European countries experience health workforce skill-mix changes due to population ageing, multimorbidity and medical technology. Yet, there is limited cross-country research in hospitals.
Cross-sectional, observational study on staff role changes and contributing factors in nine European countries. Survey of physicians, nurses and managers (n = 1524) in 112 hospitals treating patients with breast cancer or acute myocardial infarction. Group differences were analysed across country clusters (skill-mix reform countries [England, Scotland and the Netherlands] versus no reform countries [Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Norway, Poland and Turkey]) and stratified by physicians, nurses and managers, using Chi-squared, Mann-Whitney U and Kruskal Wallis tests.
Nurses in countries with major skill-mix reforms reported more frequently being motivated to undertake a new role (66.5%) and having the opportunity to do so (52.4%), compared to nurses in countries with no reforms (39.2%; 24.8%; p < .001 each). Physicians and nurses considered intrinsic motivating factors (personal satisfaction, use of qualifications) more motivating than extrinsic factors (salary, career opportunities). Reported barriers were workforce shortages, facilitators were professional and management support. Managers’ recruitment decisions on choice of staff were mainly influenced by skills, competences and experience of staff.
Managers need to know the motivational factors of their employees and enabling versus hindering factors within their organisations to govern change effectively.