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Osahon Ogbeiwi

Full Time PhD Student

Osahon Ogbeiwi

Research Title: Goal Setting Practice in the National Health Service (NHS) England: A framework for SMART objective-setting and its influence on health outcomes. 

Supervisors: Dr Bryan McIntosh and Dr Barbara McNamara.

Publications to date: Ogbeiwi, O(2016) Defining goals and terms in development and health. British Journal of Healthcare Management 2016 Vol 22 No 11.

Dr Osahon J. I. Ogbeiwi obtained his first degree of Bachelor of Medicine & Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria in 1986 and then Master of Community Health (MCommH) from the University of Liverpool, taught at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine in 1995. He later obtained Master of Arts in Theology from the University of Manchester, taught at the Nazarene Theological College, Didsbury, Manchester in 2012. He started his doctorate study for PhD in Health Services with specialisation in Community Health in September 2013 as an online study at the Walden University, USA, where he covered five modules in Foundations of Graduate Study in Health Services, Research Theory, US Health Delivery System, Quantitative Reasoning and Analysis and Qualitative Reasoning and Analysis before transferring to a full-time PhD research program in the Faculty of Health Studies at the University of Bradford in September 2015.

As a scholar practitioner, he now seeks to make a positive social change in the management of health services, through helping programmes improve their outcomes by a better goal setting practice. His PhD research proposal is on the topic:

Goal Setting Practice in the National Health Service (NHS) England: A framework for SMART objective-setting and its influence on health outcomes.

This research will use a mixed methods approach to specifically explore the current goal setting practice of NHS commissioned health services in all sectors of health care delivery system and test the efficacy of a proposed four-component framework for SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound) objectives as an intervention to improve their health outcomes. The proposed model framework has been used productively by the researcher for many years in his training and professional services and provides a structure for writing a SMART objective statement. Its assumption is on the premise that a SMART objective should contain as the essential components of its statement: a desired outcome (a short-term change), the related outcome indicator, a given target of the same indicator and a specified short-term time-frame.

The theoretical framework for the research is provided by Locke and Latham’s goal setting theory of motivation and task performance that supposes a positive linear relationship between specific quantifiable difficult goals and task performance or goal achievements under standard conditions in the goal setting context. Also related is Peter Drucker’s theory of management by objectives that supposes that stating specific and measurable objectives at an organisational level motivates workers to achieve better outcomes. Therefore to answer the study questions of ‘How are health goals formulated for health services in NHS England? ‘To what extent are NHS Health objectives SMART?’ and ‘Are NHS health services planned on model SMART objectives more likely to achieve their health outcomes than those planned on current NHS goals?’ the research will work with a hypothesis that health programmes planned on SMART objectives are more likely to achieve their outcomes than those planned on current, usual, vague or non-SMART objectives.

There is massive data available on the Locke’s goal setting theory in experimental motivation psychology and patient centred personal goal-setting by NHS services. With the prevailing massive report on the poor quality and low performance of NHS services on their key performance indicators and targets, little is currently available in literature of service goals or project-level goals and their impact on health service outcomes at the service, project or organisational levels at this preliminary stage of my literature review. No research article has been found so far that reports on the specific structure of how SMART objectives should be written or the influence of health planning based on a specific goal setting framework for formulating objectives on desired health outcomes.

The proposed mixed methods research design has three study approaches and phases of inquiry. The first phase will be a descriptive retrospective survey of the SMARTness of NHS services objectives and the level of outcomes achieved for the immediate past operational year of participating NHS services. The second phase will be a phenomenological study, employing an interpretative phenomenological analysis of the essential or common goal setting experiences of NHS Health planners for the particular year reviewed, and the final phase will be a quasi-experimental randomised trial of the goal setting intervention with the model SMART objective framework, that will compare the health outcomes of two study groups: an intervention group of health services planned on the model objective framework, and a control group of health services planned on the usual NHS goal setting formats. Health planners in the intervention group will be trained in a formal goal setting training workshops, while those in the control group will not be exposed to the training, but may have a general orientation on the usual NHS guidelines on goal setting. While the first phase will collect objectives and statistical outcome data as baseline for the trial, the second phase will involve the workshops and orientation sessions in the normal settings of the health planners according to annual planning agenda of participating NHS services. These sessions will also be used as the forums for the qualitative interviews of individual key informants of each service. The last phase will be a series of four quarterly follow-up measurements of health outcomes of all participating health services in both intervention and control groups over a 12 month period.