Promoting partnership working in the NHS

NHS Staff Survey 2017

The Social Partnership Forum made the following statement in response to the results of the 2017 NHS Staff Survey, published 6 March 2018.

The SPF acknowledge the pressure that NHS staff are working under and the tough times the system is facing, but also recognise the great job that staff are doing. We are pleased to see the 2017 Staff Survey results show that staff feel more supported by their immediate managers (3.77 score out of 5) and increased numbers of staff (86.6 per cent) are receiving good quality appraisals.

An area of focus for the SPF is the worrying levels of staff experiencing harassment, bullying or abuse from staff in the last 12 months, with concerns that bullying has serious consequences for affected individuals and those they work with, reducing productivity and affecting patient care. In December 2016 the SPF launched the tackling bullying: a collective call to action which encourages employers and trade unions to work in partnership to: achieve the overarching leadership and cultural change to tackle bullying; support staff to respectfully challenge problem behaviours; and publish their plans and progress so staff, patients and the public can hold them to account.

As a national SPF priority, the call to action has been supported by a variety of activity in each of the ten regional SPFs, and nationally at the creating positive cultures summit, held in November 2017. The summit brought together over 70 national, regional and local colleagues to share good practice, lessons learnt, and gather commitment from partners to progress the call to action into its second year. The CQC presented slides at the summit which highlighted how the call to action links to the well-led domain.

The SPF is encouraged that the levels of staff reporting bullying from other staff members, even though still high, has remained the same at 24 per cent with the willingness to report incidents of bullying increasing to 47.8 per cent in 2017 from 44.6 per cent in 2015. However, the SPF are concerned that staff engagement figures have slightly decreased, along with decreased staff motivation and satisfaction with levels of pay. There are also increased levels of staff feeling that organisations don’t value staff health and wellbeing, alongside figures of staff reporting feeling work related stress.

The NHS Staff Survey is an important indicator of staff experience and the SPF would like to see regional SPFs and local partnership forums working constructively to address issues, identify solutions and share learning. The SPF has produced case studies  which show the benefits and new opportunities that partnership working can bring to NHS trusts and partners who are working to address challenges in their organisations.

Read what Danny Mortimer chief executive of NHS Employers and SPF employer chair had to say about the staff survey results.

Read the NHS Staff Survey results in full.