Staff survey results are out

Results from the 2017 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 December last year, 34.1 per cent of staff completed the survey – an increase of 5 per cent from last year. While this is still about 4 per cent lower than other ambulance trusts, we would like to thank staff for taking part and getting their voice heard.

What did it say?

The 2017 results are very similar to 2016, which indicate that, even with an increasingly difficult performance and financially challenged environment, they are reasonably encouraging.

The survey comes the year following the cultural audit, so whilst the Trust would have hoped to make greater moves forward, given the levels of demand on the service and staff (combined with financial challenges), the results are reasonably encouraging.

Key findings

Positive findings:

  • The identification of training, learning or development needs is now above the national average at 59 per cent – an improvement of five per cent from last year.
  • Staff feel more encouraged to report errors, near misses and incidents and when they do, they feel they are treated more fairly and that there is an improvement in the feedback given. This was an increase of 5 per cent from 33 per cent in 2016 to 38% in 2017. This is in line with the national average.
  • Results indicate staff feel more confident and secure reporting unsafe clinical practice, rising from 93 per cent in 2016 to 95 per cent this year. The level of confidence is now above national average of 94 per cent.
  • Some 45 per cent of staff – a six per cent in increase from last year – are now being updated on feedback from patients or service users and this feedback is being used to make informed decisions, giving staff further reassurance they are performing well and making changes to their practice were needed. This also tops the national average of 39 per cent.
  • Results show more people felt appraisals helped them set clear objectives (67 per cent to 70 per cent), that training, learning and development needs were identified (up 5 per cent to 59 per cent this year and above the national average of 54 per cent) and that organisational values were discussed within the appraisal process (an increase of 2 per cent 77 per cent and above the national average of 71 per cent).
  • There is a greater awareness of who is in the senior management team up 4 per cent to 77 per cent), supporting the team’s commitment to being more visible to staff. This is again up on the national average of 70 per cent.
  • The number of staff feeling supported by work colleagues has also seen a rise. The growth from 76 per cent to 80 per cent in the last year reinforces the commitment the Trust put into recruitment and training, giving staff the support they need to their jobs well.

Where we need to make changes:

  • Staff feeling unwell due to work related stress in the past 12 months has decreased (49 per cent compared to 51 per cent last year) and while it is slightly below the national average for ambulance trusts, it is still high. This needs to be balanced against overall sickness rates for 2017, which showed a 31 per cent increase in psychological wellbeing issues (attributed to both personal and work-related issues).
  • Fewer staff this year believe the organisation provides equal opportunities for career progression or promotion – 63 per cent compared with 68 per cent last year, and a national average of 66 per cent.
    • Staff who feel they can make improvements in their work area has reduced slightly from 29 per cent in 2016 to 28 per cent in 2017 and remains below national average of 30 per cent.
    • The perceived number of appraisals, annual reviews or development reviews carried out has increased from 54 per cent in 2016 to 57 per cent in 2017, but there may still be work to be done as this is 12 per cent lower than the national average.
    • Fewer staff feel they have adequate materials, supplies and equipment to do their work, dropping from 53 per cent to 49 per cent last year.
  • Staff are less satisfied with the level of pay they receive dropping from 25 per cent that were satisfied in 2016 compared to 21 per cent in 2017. The national average is 23%


What next?

The People team is reviewing the findings and developing an action plan to bring about change to improve the workplace for staff. The Trust will engage with staff via the staff forum to then agree the action plan.

A more detailed report of the 2017 survey results for East of England Ambulance

Service NHS Trust can be found here and go to the latest results tab.

 Published 6th March 2018

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