NewsEngland: NHS staff survey receives mixed response

England: NHS staff survey receives mixed response

Progress for NHS staff has been made across several key themes, says NHS Employers.

Responses to the NHS National Staff Survey 2023 show improvements in five of the eight key points surveyed. These include recognition and reward, learning, and team working.

Morale also appears to have improved as seen in a reduction in staff expressing a desire to leave the service. Staff were also more likely to recommend the NHS as a place to work.

This year’s survey was the first to record data on sexual harassment, with 4% of staff reporting harassment by colleagues. For which chief executive of NHS employers Danny Mortimer said ‘there are issues to understand and address across all staff groups.’

Overall, Danny Mortimer said the survey results showed ‘encouraging signs’.

‘Amid ongoing industrial action and winter pressures, the latest staff survey shows positive progress,’ he said. ‘This reflects the concerted efforts that leadership teams have been making… to improve the experience of their people, and is also a reflection of the government’s resolution of painful disputes and its commitment to a Long Term Workforce Plan.’

However, while The King’s Fund recognised ‘some positive improvements’ they said the results included ‘some cause for concern’. Responses showed that two in five have felt unwell due to work-related stress, and that young staff (aged 21 to 30) were generally more dissatisfied with their role, the think tank highlighted. General job satisfaction levels varied depending on the service.

The King’s Fund reported that experiences with discrimination have also worsened, with Black, Asian and ethnic minority staff members reporting higher rates of discrimination than their White colleagues. Danny Mortimer also spoke of the ‘significant equality gaps remaining in the experience of women, those from black and minority ethnic backgrounds, disabled and LGBT staff.’

Chief executive of The King’s Fund Sarah Woolnough said: ‘We can’t ignore the main message from this survey; that NHS staff are feeling undervalued, stretched and unwell and there is still work to do to make health and care a more attractive career.’

She continued: ‘While there has been some improvement compared to last year, it is no surprise amidst ongoing industrial action that less than a third of NHS staff are satisfied with their level of pay and only 61% of staff would recommend their organisation as a place of work.

Sarah also noted the possibility that the ‘true scale’ of sexual harassment in the workplace ‘could be much higher than the 4%’ reported, and that ‘therefore clear action is needed on every level to make the NHS a safe place to work for all.’

The annual survey was carried out in autumn last year, and covers staff in all NHS trusts in England, across all roles.

Image | Unsplash


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