2016 NHS Staff Survey results: now published

Side of RRV with lozenge

Results from the 2016 NHS Staff Survey have been published.

The annual survey, which all NHS trusts in the country are involved in, collects staff views about working in their NHS organisation. Results are then used to improve working conditions, and ultimately to improve patient care.

Open to all EEAST staff from September to November last year, 29% of us completed the survey.

So what did it say?

Our 2016 results are very similar to 2015. During the year we also carried out the cultural audit, so whilst we would have hoped to make greater moves forward, given the levels of demand on the service and staff (combined with our financial challenges), the results are reasonably encouraging.

It was pleasing to see that the measure of staff ‘recommending the organisation as a place to work or receive treatment from’ improved from 3.36 (2015) out of five to 3.42 (2016). Of course, now we have the results of the cultural audit and are moving into the action phase, we expect to see further improvements ahead. 

Key findings

Positive findings:

  • The quality of non-mandatory training, learning or development is 3.92 out of five, in line with the national average for ambulance trusts
  • The percentage of respondents witnessing potentially harmful errors, near misses or incidents in the last month is 34%, lower than the national average of 36% for ambulance trusts
  • The percentage of respondents experiencing discrimination at work in the last 12 months is 18%, lower than national average of 20% for ambulance trusts
  • The percentage of respondents appraised in the last 12 months has significantly increased; 53% of those who responded to the survey compared to 30% in 2015.

Where we need to make changes:

  • Whist the percentage of staff appraised in the last 12 months has significantly increased, this is still well below the national average of 76% for ambulance trusts; the quality of these appraisals has also been judged to have decreased with an average score of 2.5 out of five in 2016, compared to 2.94 out of five in 2015
  • Whilst the percentage of people feeling unwell due to work related stress in the past 12 months hasn’t changed significantly, it remains high
  • The percentage of staff believing that the organisation provides equal opportunities for career progression or promotion is 68%; this has decreased from 2015 when the percentage was 73%
  • The percentage of staff that feel able to contribute towards improvements at work is 43%, lower than the national average of 46% for ambulance trusts.

You can download a copy of our full report here, or a shorter summary version here – both available from the www.nhsstaffsurveys.com website, under the ‘latest results’ tab.

What are we doing?

We have asked Zeal Solutions (the organisation who undertook our cultural audit) to review the findings and combine them with those of the cultural audit. This means we’ll have a complete picture of areas of best practise we can spread across the organisation, and areas requiring development.

The cultural audit steering group (made up of staff and managers) has identified a number of actions to help move the organisation forward, and these will also address some of the findings from the NHS staff survey.

Examples of the actions we are taking include:

  • reviewing and reinvigorating the exit interview process
  • developing a leadership charter
  • offering every internal candidate the opportunity to receive feedback if they want it
  • reviewing the appraisal process
  • reviewing and developing our reward and recognition programme
  • developing our approach to flexible working
  • developing a programme of CPD events, linked to professional updates
  • better reintegrating staff who have been away from the Trust for a while
  • investigating the possibilities of anonymous incident reporting
  • signing up to a campaign to change legislation about violence towards NHS staff.

In addition to these specific actions, the Trust’s People and Culture Strategy includes a range of initiatives which will further improve the experience for our people. These include:

  • diversity training to tackle discrimination and challenge unconscious bias
  • the launch of our Freedom to Speak Up Guardians, and new Whistleblowing Policy
  • a wide range of leadership development opportunities, including compassionate leadership, and supporting more black, Asian, and minority ethnic (BAME) staff and women into leadership roles
  • a new approach to talent management and succession planning
  • a revised training plan and a greater focus on e-learning
  • a new recruitment process, and open and transparent promotion processes
  • the launch of our wellbeing hub, and new approaches to support improved physical, psychological and social wellbeing for our people
  • a new approach to engagement, including a staff forum.

We’ll soon be sharing progress against all the cultural audit actions, and developing pages on East24 where you can keep up to date with the latest news.

Published 9th March, 2017

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