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Home > News > Thousands of staff report improvements in the 2017 NHS Staff Survey

Thousands of staff report improvements in the 2017 NHS Staff Survey

Posted on Tuesday 6th March 2018
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Almost 4,000 members of NHS staff across Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (CPFT) and North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust (NCUHT) are reporting improvements in the 2017 NHS Staff Survey published today (Tuesday 6th March). The National NHS Staff Survey ran from the beginning of October 2017 for nine weeks and was sent to all staff with over 50% return rate for both Trusts which is 5% above the national average.

The results show positive improvements for both Trusts and identify where further work is required in order to improve the experience of staff working across the Trusts. There are also positive improvements reported for both Trusts since last year around health and wellbeing measures for staff with a 3% for CPFT and 5% increase for NCUHT.

Overall, CPFT staff engagement was rated 3.84 on a scale of 1-5 (where 5 is the highest level of engagement) which is above the national average of 3.79 and an improvement from 3.83 in 2016. NCUHT staff engagement has also improved from 3.60 in 2016 to 3.62 in 2017.

For CPFT, many scores are above the sector average and in the top 20% of all Trusts surveyed, with just a few question scores that are in the bottom 20% of similar Trusts.  At a local level, compared to last year, there is only one question that has significantly declined and that is staff satisfaction with pay.

Overall staff engagement has improved since last year and above national average for their sector.  The results highlighted a number of areas where the Trust is performing well, including staff appraisal uptake, staff feeling more satisfied with their job and a reduction in staff feeling stressed at work.

The survey also highlighted areas where improvements are required including: to improve effective incident reporting, flexible working and communication between senior management and staff.

For NCUHT the results show an increase in staff recommending the Trust as a place to work or receive treatment at and more staff feeling confident in reporting unsafe clinical practice. The results also highlight areas that need to be improved upon including, the quality of appraisals, staff satisfaction and more immediate manager support.

The results also show a significant improvement in the percentage of staff reporting good communication between senior management and staff (increase of 3% for NCUHT and 6% for NCUHT), though there is still much more to do.

Stephen Eames, CEO of CPFT and NCUHT said:

“The NHS Staff Survey is great tool for us to find out how our staff are feeling and identify ways we can make improvements for the better. The survey is really important because it is one the ways that staff can anonymously share their feedback of what it’s like to work for the NHS in Cumbria. We know it is a very challenging time for people working in the NHS and appreciate how hard our staff work every day to care for our patients in Cumbria.

“In line with many organisations, we are facing financial pressures, service and organisational changes and have some areas where recruitment has been more difficult. We recognise the uncertainty this may have created for staff, however I’m very pleased that so many staff feel able to speak out and sharing their views.

“We have been doing a lot of work to improve how we engage with our staff and we are starting to see the impact of some of that but we know that there is a lot still to do and it won’t happen overnight.  We are now holding regular staff engagement sessions for staff at executive level but that doesn’t reach everyone and so we will be extending more detailed pulse surveys currently undertaken in CPFT across NCUH so we can learn more from our staff about what we need to put in place to support them. 

 “It’s a step in the right direction, but we know we have much more to do, moving forward this is one of our key areas of focus and both organisations are working together to address key areas in the survey as part of a shared organisational development plans.”