Promoting partnership working in the NHS

NHS Staff Survey 2015

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The Social Partnership Forum (SPF) made the following statement in response to the results of the 2015 NHS Staff Survey,  published on 23 February 2016.

Members of the SPF are pleased to see that the 2015 NHS Staff Survey results, show that staff feel more engaged in the work they do and their motivation at work has increased. A higher percentage of staff 69.8 per cent, as compared to 68.1 per cent in 2014, responded that they were able to contribute towards improvements at work, and staff satisfaction in their level of responsibility and involvement is higher. The overall engagement score for 2015 has increased from 3.71 out of 5 in 2014 to 3.78 out of 5 in 2015. The SPF urge NHS organisations to continue their good work to increase staff engagement, and enable staff to have a role in the development of services. This is particularly the case in those organisations/sectors that have a lower than average score for this key finding, although the SPF recognise that the structure of NHS organisations, such as those in the ambulance sector, may make it harder to implement effective staff engagement. Despite potential obstacles, the NHS needs to continue to improve staff engagement, and trade unions locally will support initiatives to do so, as evidence has shown that increased staff engagement is strongly linked to improving patient outcomes and organisational performance.

An area of real concern for the SPF in the results of the 2015 NHS Staff Survey is the high percentage of staff experiencing harassment, bullying or abuse from staff in the last 12 months. This has actually increased from last year and is now at the highest level recorded of 24.8 per cent. There is good work going on in the NHS to tackle bullying, harassment and abuse, and successful models need to be replicated elsewhere to bring this unacceptably high figure down. The SPF will promote this good practice and will also look into other mechanisms to support the service. The SPF request that management and trade unions in NHS organisations work in partnership, to identify how best they can tackle bullying and harassment in their organisation, and how they can encourage an open culture where staff feel comfortable to raise concerns, and where inappropriate behaviour is tackled.

The NHS Staff Survey is an important indicator of staff experience, and the SPF would like management and trade unions in individual organisations to look at all their results and work in partnership to introduce measures to tackle any issues and build on good work.