NHS survey shows pressures on hospital staff

Wigan Infirmary
Wigan Infirmary
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The pressures faced by NHS staff working for the borough’s hospitals trust have been revealed in a new survey.

The 2017 national staff survey - the largest workforce survey in the world - saw 400,000 people give their views on working within the NHS.

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The results for Wrightington, Wigan And Leigh NHS Foundation Trust showed how some staff face violence, harassment and discrimination.

However, in many areas it compared favourably to the national performance.

It was rated in the top 20 per cent for overall staff engagement, which looked at their motivation, whether they would recommend the trust as somewhere to work or be treated and their ability to contribute to improvements.

But the response rate was only 34 per cent, placing it in the lowest 20 per cent of acute trusts in England, with 430 employees taking part.

Alison Balson, director of workforce, said: “At Wrightington, Wigan And Leigh NHS Foundation Trust staff engagement is paramount to providing safe, effective care for our patients.

“We believe that happy staff equals happy patients.

“The 2017 national staff survey identifies WWL as the best NHS trust to work for in Greater Manchester and amongst the very best in the whole of the NHS.

“The percentage of our staff recommending WWL as a place to work or receive care or treatment is the second best in the north of England and 84 per cent of our results place us in the top 20 per cent of NHS organisations nationally.

“The results demonstrate a significant achievement and are a real testament to the resilience of all of our staff in the face of such pressures and challenges.

“WWL would like to thank the staff who took time to complete the survey, as their feedback is hugely valued and appreciated.

“We use staff survey responses to shape our engagement plans over the course of the year and continually aim to make working life more enjoyable.”

She highlighted that every employee gets a day off for their birthday and that there are well-being activities and resources, trust-wide and team-specific engagement programmes and activities, and support with training, education and development.

The survey found 84 per cent of employees felt the care of patients was the trust’s priority, compared to an average of 76 per cent for acute trusts.

Recognition and value of staff by managers and the organisation was rated as higher than the national average, along with staff satisfaction with resourcing and support and effective team working.

Ninety per cent of workers agreed their role made a difference to patients, matching the national average.

But the results revealed nine per cent of employees in Wigan had experienced physical violence from patients, relatives or the public in the last 12 months. This was lower than the national average of 15 per cent.

One in five workers - 20 per cent - said they had experienced harassment, bullying or abuse from patients, relatives or the public in the past year, with 28 per cent nationally.

The proportion of staff reporting the most recent experience stood at 59 per cent in Wigan, above the 45 per cent national average.

One in four employees - 25 per cent - said they had experienced harassment, bullying or abuse from staff in the past year, while one per cent had experienced physical violence from staff. These compared to 25 per cent and two per cent nationally.

There were 36 per cent who felt unwell due to work-related stress, matching the national average.

Just under half of workers - 49 per cent - said they had gone to work while unwell in the past three months due to pressure from their manager, colleagues or themselves, compared to 52 per cent nationally.

Nine per cent of workers said they had experienced discrimination at work in the last 12 months, rising from five per cent in 2016 but lower than the 12 per cent average.

More than a quarter of staff - 27 per cent - had witnessed potentially harmful errors, near misses or incidents in the past month, compared to 31 per cent nationally.

These were reported by 91 per cent of people, just above the 90 per cent average.

Extra hours were worked by 67 per cent of people, below the average of 72 per cent.

Fifty per cent of workers were happy with opportunities for flexible working, compared to 51 per cent nationally, and the quality of appraisals was just below the national average.