Staff satisfaction decreases at Norfolk and Suffolk mental health trust, according to survey

Andrew Hopkins, acting chief executive of Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust.

Andrew Hopkins, acting chief executive of Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust. - Credit: Archant

More than half of mental health staff in Norfolk and Suffolk say they have suffered work-related stress in the last year, according to the results of a new survey.

Staff satisfaction has decreased, whilst more than 40pc of mental health workers said they had witnessed potentially harmful errors or near misses at Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) as part of the 2013 NHS national staff survey.

The acting chief executive of the NHS trust, which has cut around 400 jobs over the last year, last night admitted that the organisation needed to do more to improve staff engagement following the publication of the Department of Health survey results.

The organisation, which is in the process of reducing its budget by 20pc by 2016, is ranked in the bottom 20pc in 21 out of 28 categories in the staff survey, compared with all other mental health trusts in the country.

New figures reveal that the percentage of mental health workers feeling satisfied with the quality of work and patient care they are able to deliver dropped from 71pc in 2012 to 66pc in 2013.

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The NHS trust has seen an overall decrease in staff engagement and the number of workers who witnessed potentially harmful errors, near misses or incidents rose from 28pc in 2012 to 42pc in 2013. The percentage of staff suffering work-related stress also went up from 45pc to 52pc in the space of a year.

The survey was sent out to 850 members of staff and 341 responded.

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The organisation performs better than the national average with the percentage of staff receiving an appraisal and percentage of staff having equality and diversity training.

Andrew Hopkins, acting chief executive, said the trust was updating its workforce and organisational development strategy to improve the working environment and develop the workforce.

'Recognising that the trust has gone through a period of significant change, we are trying to embed new services and face increasing financial pressure, we have some good and some less good areas to review.

'There has been an increase in the percentage of staff who feel able to contribute to improvements at work. This is an important result, particularly in these changeable times, as staff input is vital as we move forward in delivering new services.'

'However, importantly it also tells us is that there are a number of areas where the trust needs to do better, particularly how we engage with staff and the continual need to improve our engagement approaches,' he said.

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