We’re pleased to be able to share the results of the annual NHS staff survey with you today (Thursday 9 March).
The survey once again aligned to the seven elements of the People Promise, which are: we are compassionate and inclusive; we are recognised and rewarded; we each have a voice that counts; we are safe and healthy; we are always learning; we work flexibly and we are a team.
First and foremost we are grateful to all our colleagues who took the time to fill it in - an amazing 42%, which equates to around 3,000 people. And for the first time ever, this included our valued bank colleagues. The summary we are providing here is based on the feedback of substantive colleagues. The bank data is not yet available but we are in the process of scheduling focus groups to connect with bank colleagues directly to hear more about their experience.
Let’s start with some really positive highlights from our results. For the second year running, our top quality came out as we are compassionate and inclusive – something we can all be proud of. We also saw a jump in the ‘we work flexibly’ element, with all four questions in this area improving by between 2 and 5.2%. It’s great to see that the measures we have put in place, such as our new flexible working guidance, policy and training may be starting to have an impact.
Health and wellbeing scores are up too. An extra 2.3% of staff feel that the Trust takes positive action on health and wellbeing and less people report feeling pressure from their manager to come to work when ill.
Another highlight is the increase in the ‘we are always learning element’. Although we still remain slightly below the sector average, we are showing signs of improvement and it is particularly pleasing that this includes higher quality appraisal conversations that help colleagues do their job, agree clear objectives and leave us feeling valued – this has been a big focus of the wave three Listening into Action programme of work.
Important improvements have also been noted in levels of discrimination based on ethnic background. This is something we need to continue to improve, through mechanisms such as our civility and respect training and our new Zero Tolerance to racism campaign which reinforces the message that we will not accept any discrimination, bullying or pre-judgement towards any members of staff or service users in any circumstances.
The results have highlighted that we are either equal to or higher than the average in six out of nine question sets and while we have focused on the positive scores we should take pride in, it’s also right that we recognise where more work needs to be done.
This year has brought yet more challenges with the cost of living crisis and the large scale industrial/strike action happening within the NHS – it is therefore unsurprising that we have seen a decline in the number of staff who are satisfied with their pay (down 9.6% on last year). We value our colleagues and understand the importance of good pay and conditions for them and their families.
While we mentioned earlier we’ve seen discrimination related to ethnicity decrease, it’s disheartening that this isn’t the case for all forms of discrimination, with age and gender-based prejudice being amongst those to see increases. This is something we take very seriously and we would strongly encourage members of staff to feel empowered to speak up about their experiences – whether that be to a senior manager, Freedom to Speak Up Guardian or Ambassador, staff side colleagues, staff inclusion networks, human resources or diversity and inclusion teams.
We recognise that times are tough for many of our colleagues and we want them to know that we are listening, so that we can take action and support them as best we can.
Over 100 teams within the Trust will receive more tailored results and we’ll work with our networks and directorates to ensure that there are opportunities for colleagues to directly influence some of the improvements we make. Areas we are already working on include team and leadership development, continued focus on flexible working, health and wellbeing, meaningful appraisal and development opportunities and our inclusion and retention programmes.