Staff give Torbay Hospital the thumbs up

28 February 2014

Results just published from the national 2013 NHS Staff Survey show that staff working for South Devon Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust have rated the Trust in the best 20 per cent of acute trusts in England in more than half of the survey’s categories.

The survey highlights a number of positive findings, with staff rating the Trust in the best 20 per cent of acute trusts nationally in 15 separate categories including the following:

  • Job satisfaction
  • Training and development
  • Work related stress
  • Work pressure
  • Staff feeling satisfied with the quality of work and patient care they are able to deliver
  • Staff recommendation of the trust as a place to work or receive treatment

Acting Chair, David Allen, said: “As an employer, our role is to create a work environment in which our staff can give of their best for patients. Feedback from staff in surveys such as this is essential in reviewing how we’re doing. This year’s survey was carried out well before the recent employment tribunal, which has given us all such a knock. I believe that it provides a more representative view of the underlying picture of what it’s like to work at Torbay Hospital and confirms we’re on the right track. We have dedicated and highly caring staff, who continue to put excellent patient care at the heart of all they do.

“My commitment to our staff is that we will act on the feedback they have given in this survey to fully restore the supportive culture of openness that they value and deserve.”

The annual national survey was issued to a random sample of 850 staff in September 2013 seeking their views about their jobs and about working for the Trust. A total of 497 members of staff took part in the survey, representing a response rate of 59 per cent, which is in the highest 20 per cent of acute trusts in England, and exceeds the Trust’s previous year’s response rate of 56 per cent.

In the survey’s 28 categories, Torbay Hospital staff rated the Trust as above national average in 23 categories, average in three and below average in just two. Of the 23 categories rated above average for 2013, the Trust was rated in the best 20 per cent nationally for 15 of these categories compared to just three for 2012, showing a significant improvement.

Areas where the Trust has significantly improved since 2012 include work pressure felt by staff, support from managers, receiving health and safety training, as well as staff recommendation of the Trust as a place to work or receive treatment.

The survey also highlighted a couple of areas in which our results fall below average:

  • only 36 per cent of staff have well-structured appraisals (compared to the national average of 38 per cent, although this is an improvement on the Trust’s 2012 result of 31 per cent)
  • four per cent of respondents experiencing physical violence from other staff (compared to a national average of two per cent)

Acting Chair, David Allen, said: “One of the areas we are focussing on following the recent employment tribunal is rebuilding our culture of openness. We are therefore concerned by the finding that shows a higher than average number of our staff experience violence from other staff. The numbers are small, but violence and oppression are not acceptable under any circumstances, and we will be tackling this as a priority. I have already given staff my personal assurance that they will be listened to with respect and, above all, safety. Intimidation will not be tolerated on my watch.”

“Overall though, I am delighted that so many of our staff responded to this survey and have such positive views of working here. It is particularly heartening to know that such a high percentage of staff would recommend the Trust as a place to work or receive treatment.

“The introduction of the Friends and Family Test for all staff from April provides a further opportunity for staff to give regular feedback, enabling the Trust to address any issues as they arise. A happier workforce enhances the overall atmosphere in a hospital and will ultimately lead to improved patient care.”


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