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Mental health trust among lowest in England for staff satisfaction with standard of care

PUBLISHED: 17:56 08 March 2017 | UPDATED: 17:56 08 March 2017

Picture: Ian Burt.

Picture: Ian Burt.

Archant © 2011

Four of Norfolk and Suffolk’s seven NHS trusts have scored below the national average in two key questions asked of staff in the annual NHS Staff Survey.

Graphic shows the response from staff at the region's NHS trusts to two key questions in the NHS Staff Survey. Graphic by Rob McVicar.Graphic shows the response from staff at the region's NHS trusts to two key questions in the NHS Staff Survey. Graphic by Rob McVicar.

The worst performing trust across the two questions was Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT), which provides mental healthcare to patients.

Just 48pc of staff (the third worst score of all NHS trusts in England) said they would be happy with the standard of care provided to a friend or a relative, while 45pc said they would recommend it as a place to work.

However both those scores are an improvement on the trust’s performance in the previous year.

Michael Scott, chief executive of NSFT, said the improvement was heartening but admitted he was concerned about the response to the question over the standard of care.

“Though not yet where we would like to be, a significantly larger number of staff this year said they would be happy with our care,” he said.

“While we have seen this significant improvement this year, and since we began our turnaround in 2014, there are still many areas where our scores have come in below the national average when compared to other mental health and learning disability trusts.

“Of course, we remain committed to improve in those areas where we compare least favourably with other mental health trusts and have invited all of our staff to discuss these results with their team leaders and suggest what more we can all do.

“We have more staff telling us how they feel which shows that they believe we are listening and making changes as a result, and that more of our staff saying more positive things.”

Meanwhile the Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust (NCH&C), East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST), and Queen Elizabeth Hospital King’s Lynn NHS Foundation Trust (QEH) all scored below the national average in the two questions.

Roisin Fallon-Williams, chief executive of NCH&C, said: “There is some encouraging progress, but we recognise there is more to do and we will be looking to address any areas for concern to ensure that our staff and patients have the right level of support in place.

“We are pleased that the proportion of staff witnessing errors has decreased, and that over two years we have seen a significant increase in staff who would recommend us as a place to work or receive treatment.

“That confirms we are moving in the right direction, but we still have more we want to do.

“Large-scale staff engagement processes have been implemented, which provide opportunities for staff to give us their feedback, and which we can use to bring about positive change.

“We did see a worrying increase in the trend for abuse and harassment from members of the public, and we want to make absolutely clear that this is not acceptable.”

Dorothy Hosein, chief executive of QEH, said: “Clearly we are pleased that staff motivation at work and satisfaction with the support they receive is above the national average.

“However, we take the areas highlighted for improvement very seriously.

“Every year we use the results of the national NHS staff survey to help us improve our staff’s experience of working at the hospital. “Following on from feedback from last year’s staff survey we have done a considerable amount of work on staff health and wellbeing.

“I anticipate that this will result in a significant positive impact on next year’s results.

“We continue to listen to staff in a variety of ways, including the results of the national staff survey, and to act on the feedback we receive to improve everyone’s experience of working at the QEH.”

An EEAST spokesman said: “Over the past year we have had a major focus on developing the culture of the organisation.

“This work, based on the results of the cultural audit we carried out last year, is now being driven forward by a steering group made up of staff and we expect this to have positive impacts for staff over the coming months.

“While we have seen our results against these two indicators remain relatively static, we have seen improvements in our attrition rate, the number of staff who see that the trust’s top priority is the care of patients, and increased interest from graduate paramedics.

“We continue to work to improve the balance between patient safety and staff wellbeing, through the development of our health and wellbeing hub and other initiatives.”

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