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NHS staff feel excluded amid growing job security fears


Do you enjoy working in the NHS?

The vast majority of NHS staff continue to feel their work makes a difference to patients, according to the 2010 NHS Staff Survey. The survey reports that 90% of the 165,000 respondents said they feel their work makes a difference to patients with 87% reporting they personally feel they make a difference – the same results as 2009, despite greater uncertainty about the future.

Growing concern about job security is reflected in the jump in staff saying they intend to look for a new job in the next 12 months – 28% said they would look to move compared to 22% in 2009.

And there has been no improvement in staff feeling engaged with management decisions across all types of NHS trust – 30% say they are included, compared to 29% in 2009.

However more areas of staff experience improved overall – 13 – than deteriorated.  Areas that improved in 2010 included access to appraisals and satisfaction with the level of care provided by trusts.

The survey covers all staff and covers areas from appraisals and training to job to making a difference to patients.  Nurses make up the second largest group of respondents (21%) after admin and clerical staff (23%).

Eight per cent said they experienced physical violence from patients, relatives or other members of the public, while 15% said they have been subject to bullying, harassment and abuse.

The questions concerning violence, abuse, bullying and harassment were changed in 2010 meaning direct comparisons cannot be made, according to the Care Quality Commission which carried out the Survey.

The commission also provided Nursing Times with a more detailed snapshot of findings relating to nursing staff..

It showed that 33% of nurses and midwives reported being stressed. Meanwhile, the number of nurses who felt their appraisals were not well structured rose in 2010 to 37%, compared to 34% in 2009. The number receiving appraisals remained the same at 72%.

The Royal College of Nursing chief executive and general secretary Peter Carter said the survey showed staff are working hard to maintain standards of care but that “cracks were beginning to show.”

“These figures show that NHS staff are working harder than ever to improve care under difficult circumstances, and that 90% still feel that they are making a difference to patients.

[However]nurses and healthcare assistants are telling us that staffing levels are compromising their ability to provide high quality care, and we urge employers and the government to listen to staff concerns as they embark on a massive overhaul of the way the NHS is run.”

Unison general secretary Dave Prentis warned that feelings might be more negative now. He said: “The survey was taken last autumn before the full force of the government’s squeeze on NHS finances and the details of the health bill were fully realised.”

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Readers' comments (7)

  • aldi pay £9 an hour
    as an auxilary nurse i earn £7.17 an hr

    my application form is in, why should i put up with all the crap the nhs is going through for £1.83 an hour less!!!!
    the pension was going to keep me in but guess what that will be taken away from me as well

    wish i had never joined the nhs its a shambles since the tory/libs got in and will only get a lot worse

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  • what a shame and what a waste. Aldi may not be nearly as interesting or rewarding but maybe better conditions. much depends on the department and co-workers and of course management and there may be prospects for promotion with higher wages and better pension scheme.
    good luck
    it may also be that one day if things improve in the nhs, with your experience, you would be welcomed back with open arms.
    is there no way of separating healthcare from politics - there seems to be no compatibility?

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  • Have to say I don't blame Anonymous | 16-Mar-2011 3:25 pm at all. Hell, Aldi isn't THAT much less than a Staff Nurse now! It's tempting to take a cut in pay for less (and more sociable) hours, less stress, less hassle, less responsibility and accountability etc etc! Hell, is a few extra quid worth the stress and burnout? Where's my nearest Aldi .... ?

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  • There are rumours going around our place that band 6 and band 3's will eventually be de-banded! They are now saying they don't need so many band 6's on the ward's day or night and that there will be competitive interviews to go for just a few band 6 jobs. It makes you sick when they brought this ageda for change in, banded people according to their grades and now trying to take the pay off us! The very people who do all the hard work! Yet there are too many managers around earning too much money with fat bonuses and large pensions! I wanted to work until I was 60 but now seriously thinking of retiring at 55 in two years time while my pension may be still worth something and joining a nursing bank somewhere. I am sure I would be better off doing that than risk a huge drop in pay. What are other people in their early 50"s doing who have been in this job for 30 odd years going to do. I would love to read your comments.

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  • I got out of the NHS some years ago. So far nothing i read makes me think I made the wrong decision.

    Sometimes I work for an agency and sometimes I work self employed, so there are occassions when I am not sure where the next job is coming from but I still feel a lot less stressed than when I was working for the NHS.

    It comes to something when I felt less stressed in Afghanistan. Admittedly the money was better.

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  • Where is the logic in this - there is no pay increase for nurses for the next two years and yet there is money in the kitty for all the expensive sorties in Libya , costing millions for
    the last 4 nights of bombings!! Our own country is in such mess and yet there is time and money to meddle in others!

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  • they did the sums on cnn last night and the short term costs and how much it could cost if it went on for six months - it is mind blowing! and all this in the knowledge of the deficit and economic problems in the uk. Who is going to foot the bill?
    I agree, we should look after our own first.

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