NHS staff are showing great resilience in the face of mounting pressure, the annual survey of the workforce reveals.
The 2016 NHS Staff Survey, to which 423,000 staff responded, reveals that on 26 measures results have improved, three have remained the same, while three have dropped.
On the positive side, there’s been an improvement in the overall willingness to recommend the NHS as a place to work or be cared for, and there have been improvements in quality of appraisal, manager support, measures of staff engagement, health and wellbeing and confidence from staff in raising concerns.
However, staff perception on equality of career progression, experience of discrimination and levels of violence against staff have dropped.
And, despite some progress, levels of bullying and harassment still remain unacceptably high, with the score only slightly falling from 24.8 to 24.1%, while levels of stress fell from 37 to 36.7%.
Danny Mortimer, chief executive of NHS Employers, said “Despite incredible pressures on our workforce, their commitment and resilience shines through. Against all the odds, staff are generally feeling better at work and more confident in the care they provide, this is a tribute to them and the teams and managers they work with.
“The survey shows that efforts to improve the NHS workplace are being effective. The task going forward is to keep sharing good practice and to keep ensuring that national and local leaders listen to staff and provide the support they need to make it through this difficult period.”
On maybe the most telling measure, whether staff believe the care their trusts provide is safe, the scores have stayed the same with 69% saying they would recommend care at their organisation to a friend or relative.
Emergency care practitioners were the professional group least likely to agree with the statement.
Of the 10 worst performing acute trusts, four are also in special measures: Walsall, North Cumbria, Worcestershire Acute, and Brighton and Sussex. Others with poor scores in this category included Mid Yorkshire University Hospitals Trust, North Middlesex University Hospital Trust and Southport and Ormskirk Hospital Trust.
The five best performing non-specialist trusts against the statement: “If a friend or relative needed treatment I would be happy with the standard of care provided by this organisation”, included Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals FT, Guy’s and St Thomas’ FT, Royal Devon and Exeter FT, Taunton and Somerset FT and University College London Hospitals FT.