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Less than two thirds of NHS workforce would recommend their trust


Less than two-thirds of staff would be happy to recommend their trust to a friend or relative, according to the latest NHS staff survey.

The 2012 survey, released today, found only 63% of staff would recommend their organisation. More than 100,000 NHS staff completed the survey between mid-September and mid-December 2012.

Only 35% of respondents felt there was “effective communication” between senior managers and staff, and just 26% felt managers acted on feedback received from staff. And only four in every 10 staff felt valued at work, the survey found.

The research, carried out by the Picker Institute, also indicated some unease about whistleblowing: 72% of staff said they would feel safe raising concerns, and just 55% expressed confidence their trust would address those concerns.

By contrast, 68% agreed with the statement “my organisation acts on concerns raised by patients”, with only 7% disagreeing.

On most measures, social enterprise staff were the most positive in their responses and ambulance staff the most negative.

Sara Gorton, Unison deputy head of health, said: “Despite 70% of staff working extra hours it is sad to see that so many feel undervalued by their trust. More worrying still is that only 35% believe communications between staff and senior managers [are] effective.

“Much more work needs to be done to ensure that staff are listened to and their concerns acted on quickly.”

Peter Carter, Royal College of Nursing chief executive and general secretary, said: “Now more than ever, the NHS needs staff who are empowered and supported to give the high quality care their patients deserve. This survey paints a very different picture.

“In struggling to meet their daily demands, more than four in ten nurses said they had suffered from work related stress in the last 12 months. Meanwhile 81% are working extra hours just to get the job done. Unfortunately, the strains of doing this are showing, with more staff reporting being unwell due to stress.

“Shockingly, almost a quarter of nurses also said that they have experienced physical violence from patients, relatives or members of the public in the past year. We are also concerned that only 55% of nurses felt that something would be done if they raised their concerns with managers.”

He added: “Sadly, this survey shows us that things are getting worse, and a picture is being painted of staff under pressure, and patients experiencing frustration and delays.”

Louise Silverton, director for midwifery at the Royal College of Midwives, said: “The number of midwives reporting that they do not have enough staff to do their job well or give the level of care they want to is a real concern. However, it perhaps should not come as a surprise given that we are short of 5000 midwives in England.

“There is no doubt that the government are increasing the number of midwives but the birthrate continues to rise and an increasing number of the pregnancies are becoming more complicated. Midwife numbers are still playing catch-up after a decade or more of understaffing.

“Midwives are one of the most dissatisfied groups  when it comes to job satisfaction. These results show that not only are midwives deeply frustrated by this, but that the service is perhaps too often not offering the quality of care midwives want to deliver and women should expect.”

But NHS Employers chief executive Dean Royles said it was important to note improvements on many scores.

He said in a statement: “It’s a remarkable achievement that staff report improvements in so many areas, crucially including overall levels of patient care.

“Amid all the uncertainties and concerns around the Health and Social Care Bill, efficiency drives, industrial action, pay freezes and pension increases these are a set of good results.”

He added: “They also note that appraisals, staff engagement and job satisfaction have got better and this really is a credit to the effort and skill of [human resources] teams in the NHS and the work they do with staff.”


Readers' comments (8)

  • If appraisals are being done then let us hang out flags. I remember when human resources were called personnel and they cared about staff. Now, they are to management what the provos were to sinn fein - a rottweiler splinter group always looking to minimise payments and discipline staff....

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  • I would not recomment my Trust to anyone (mental health). I hope I never need any treatment from them. I would not want them to look after my cat, let alone my friends and relatives. Staff seem worn down by relentless attacks on their pay and conditions, and there appears to be wide-spread compassion fatigue. I am hanging on in there but becoming increasingly disillusioned by the day. All I ever wanted to do was help my patients to the best of my ability, but the malaise is getting to me and sadly I am finding it more difficult by the day, and deriving less and less satisfaction. Enough is enough. Not sure how much longer I can hang on though. I never thought they (NHS management) would push me this far.

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  • sad and depressing that the NHS has fallen so low and letting down the very people whose hopes and lives often depend upon it.

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  • If the NHS Employers say the results are good, given current circumstances, it will be safe for them to shelve the report and carry on with business as usual until the survey is repeated in a year or two.

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  • 36% would recommend their trust - staggering. Which trusts are they?

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  • Patient choice demands that those trusts recommended by their staff should be revealed! They have expert inside knowledge. One lesson from the survey is that further diminution of staff T&C's will be at the peril of clinical quality. They are not bashing out widgets (although some managers and Nicholson seem to think so), they are dealing with fragile and vulnerable persons (apart from Friday night in A&E!)

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  • people are no longer admitted to hospital, they are taken to a dump and the elderly live in constant fear and dread.

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  • I would like to wave my arms and jump up and down that the trust in which I am employed got a good feedback from our service users... what a term... whilst this result is positive I cannot help but ask yes your treatment was positive but have you the patients ever asked yourself at what cost to the floor staff,? long hours with short breaks, unpaid hours work above basic contracted hours, yes we have been informed by our trust we can do extra hours but we will not be paid overtime so no payrises, paying to park at your workplace £25.00 a month and now no overtime what next?

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