NHS staff survey results 2018
What is the NHS staff survey?
The NHS staff survey is a large scale annual survey which explores the views of NHS staff on a range of different aspects based upon their lived experience of working within the NHS. The 2018 survey received c.497,000 responses, representing a 46% response rate, and contains responses for all 230 trusts in England. It includes staff views on:
- Their relationship with and the support they receive from management.
- The NHS’s organisational culture.
- The quality of care and patient safety in the NHS.
- Bullying and discrimination within the NHS.
- Levels of staff motivation and engagement in the NHS.
The key findings
- Overall, staff engagement has remained consistent over the past four years, with a score of 7.0.At the same time there have been some improvements across levels of staff engagement, for example, the proportion staff reporting they often or always look forward to going to work has increased from 57.7% to 58.7% between 2017-2018.
- Compared to 2017 staff feel more positively in 2018 about working with their immediate managers, with 69.7% reporting they are satisfied by the overall level of support they receive from them.
- Satisfaction with pay has increased noticeably by 5.1% from 31.2% in 2017 to 36.3% in 2018.There has been an increase in the number of staff reporting that they felt able to deliver the care they aspired to compared to 2017, alongside there being a rise in the proportion of staff reporting that they were personally pleased with the standard to which they were able to perform their job.
Staff health and wellbeing
- Staff health and wellbeing is declining by most measures used in the survey. More than half of staff are thinking about leaving their current role. Although staff reported that their managers are taking an interest in their health and wellbeing, less than 1/3 feel that their organisation definitely takes positive action to address improving levels of health and wellbeing, with there being a 3% decrease from 2017.
- 39% of staff reported they have felt unwell due to work related stress.
- Bullying and harassment still remains a significant concern as 28% of staff reported that they have experienced harassment or bullying from patients, members of the public and their family members. Additionally, 19.1% reported experiencing bullying and harassment from their colleagues.
What does this mean for governors?
The survey provides an insight into the concerns and experiences of its 1.2m strong workforce. At our recent regional governor workshops the Care Quality Commission said that they look carefully at this document in advance of their inspections.
Despite significant pressures facing the NHS and its staff there has been an increase in staff recommending that their organisation is a good place to work even though there have been increases in the levels of bullying and harassment that they encounter not only from patients, their family and members of the public but also from their colleagues, alongside a decline in levels of their health and wellbeing. Governors can use their holding to account duty to gain assurances that the board is tackling the issues identified in its local staff survey and use the national survey results to compare their performance with other trusts. Some suggested questions:
- Was there anything in the survey that surprised the NEDs?
- If yes, how have they been assured that this is being addressed?
- How have the NEDs been assured that vacancies are not contributing to increase stress of staff?
- How have the NEDs been assured that as an organisation we are doing enough to retain existing staff? What assurances can the NEDs provide that the board is focusing on the wellbeing of our staff?
- Why is the board confident that we are building a modern working culture where staff feel valued and supported?
- How are NEDs assured we can retain the positive staff engagement levels reported?
- How are NEDs assured that the trust is delivering on its commitment to reducing staff stress/poor health?
- Bullying and discrimination levels are far too high. Why are we confident we are managing this as best we can?
- We compare unfavourably with other trusts on some issues. How is the board learning from other trusts?
- What is the impact of our trust results on quality of care?
Governors can also use their duty around engaging members and the public to feedback staff issues/concerns to the board at their council of governors meetings. Staff governors are particularly well positioned to do this. Governors can also compare the feedback they receive from their constituents and the public against the data supplied in their council of governor papers to ensure it matches.