Friday, 9 March 2018

You are our eyes and ears

Some of you may have picked up the announcement this week about the results of the NHS Staff Survey. 

This has been running since 2003 and asks NHS staff in England about their experiences of working for the NHS.

The survey provides essential information to national stakeholders and employers (such as us) about the staff experience across the NHS in England.

This year, almost 32 per cent of you completed your survey which is lower than the average of 45 per cent. I appreciate this has been a challenging time for many of our services, but the information you provide in this survey really does make a difference to the way we structure our services and provide care and support. 

In our results for this year, I am pleased to see that the percentage of you agreeing that your role makes a difference to patients and service users is high. I am keen that we put our service users at the heart of what we do going forward. Last week proved how far you are prepared to go to deliver on our promises to provide care to those in our communities – I am still in awe of all your efforts.

Secondly, it is heartening to see that the percentage of staff experiencing physical violence, and the percentage of staff experiencing discrimination in work in the last 12 months is low. In a mental health and specialist trust, such as ourselves, often the instances of violence are higher than we’d like, due to the complex nature of our vulnerable patients. If you do experience violence, please do report it as soon as possible.

There are things we need to improve on. The percentage of staff working extra hours is higher than we’d like. We do have flexi-time and overtime policies and I would encourage you to speak to your manager if you feel your workload is unmanageable. 

You also told us that a lot of you have attended work in the last three months, despite feeling unwell, due to pressure from managers, colleagues, or yourself. And that the percentage of you feeling unwell due to work related stress in the last 12 months is high. This must stop. If you are unwell, you are unwell and we do not expect you to attend work. Your health and wellbeing is important to us. 

We have the Staff Wellbeing service which I would encourage all of you to use if needed and our Wellbeing Wednesday emails are full of tips to help you balance work and life – the latest one came out this week. I know your commitment is very high, but we all need a break at times. 

Lastly, the percentage of you reporting most recent experience of harassment, bullying or abuse is high. This is not nice to read. I don’t want anyone to come to work and feel intimidated. Our HR colleagues are working on a new campaign focusing on respect in the workplace. This will recognise our diverse workforce and aims to tackle bullying and discrimination. In the meantime, if you experience anything you aren’t happy about, please report it to your manager, or if you don’t feel you can, please contact our Freedom to Speak Up Guardian, Lisa Ryder.

You are the eyes and ears of our organisation; we rely on you to tell us when things aren’t working. Please don’t feel afraid to speak up. My door is always open.
In the meantime we will be working through the survey in more detail with our teams and will be seeing what more we can do to address the concerns this raises. I’ll share more on this at a later date. 



  1. MIKE Livingstone9 March 2018 at 21:18

    An important blog and set of issues., I too am encouraged and at the same time upset by the responses. I hope staff take to heart the sentiments in the CEO blog as I know it is genuine and intended to help us improve. As a NED I want all staff to feel positive about he amazing work they do - day in day out.
    Mike Livingstone NED

  2. Ive heard it said that people don't want to fill in the staff survey as they believe its not anonymous. Some work need to be done to reassure them it is?