The results of our NHS Staff Survey are hot off the press and we are delighted with what our staff have told us.

The main headlines

Our response rate was 58% – a 6% increase on last and a huge 4% higher than the average rate in our benchmark group of 23 other mental health and LD trusts in England.

This year the NHS staff survey has been presented differently and aggregated into 10 themes.

One of the 10 themes is “Safe environment – bullying & harassment”. We scored the highest nationally for all mental health Trusts for this.

We scored above average for another 6 out of the 10 themes:

  • Equality, Diversity and Inclusion
  • Health and Wellbeing
  • Safety Culture
  • Morale
  • Quality of care
  • Immediate Managers

and average for 3 themes:

  • Quality of appraisals
  • Staff engagement
  • Safe environment from violence

The annual survey goes out to all NHS Trusts. Our Trust is benchmarked against 23 other Mental Health and Learning Disability Trusts in England.

The survey helps us to gauge how our staff are feeling, what they think about working in the Trust and the services and care we provide to our local communities, allowing us to compare to other NHS Trusts.


Engagement on the rise

Our sustained focus on improving staff engagement over the last four years is still reaping rewards, with steady improvements since 2014. Having been below average just four years ago, we now score 7 out of 10 – the best score is 7.4, so we’re very close to the best results in our group.

What really stands out is how, during Trust-wide transformation, we have not just maintained, but increased our engagement. This period of restructure would often be considered disruptive to staff engagement, impacting the outcomes of the survey results. Contrary to this, we have seen a steady increase in our engagement score over the years and this year is no exception, proving just how ingrained our engagement activity is into our culture here at Combined.

Our scores for all themes

One of the most impressive outcomes is how well we fare against the rest of our benchmark group in all 10 themes, scoring average or above average in all of them for the first time.

The themes are:

  • Equality, diversity and inclusion
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Immediate managers
  • Morale
  • Quality of appraisals
  • Quality of care
  • Safe environment – Bullying and harassment
  • Safe environment – Violence
  • Safety culture

We achieved the highest score in our group for the ‘Safe environment – Bully & harassment’ theme, with 8.4 out of 10.

Our commitment to improving opportunities to raise concerns has no doubt played a part in achieving this score, so we’re extremely proud. Our Freedom To Speak Up Guardian and the creation of FTSU champions to encourage openness on a greater scale has been such a positive initiative that helps us stand out in this theme.

Other themes where we scored significantly higher than average are ‘Health and Wellbeing’, ‘Safety Culture’ and ‘Equality, Diversity and Inclusion’ theme, which is encouraging to see.

Next Steps

Even though there are no significant reductions in our scores compared with last year, we aren’t complacent.

Staff feedback at our Survey Roadshows, highlighted that we have so many brilliant activities running throughout the Trust, but we could improve our communication of them, so this is something we will be building into our action plans.

The full survey results are released today. To see the results on the National NHS Staff Survey website, click here.

We will be producing a Trust-wide action plan, setting out precisely how we intend to respond to the findings, and will be sharing this with our staff on a dedicated page on our Intranet, along with progress and updates throughout the year.

Meanwhile, each of the directorates will be sharing our results with staff in a series of engagement sessions, taking place over the coming weeks. These sessions will share key results across the Trust and specific to those directorates and will be a chance to gather feedback on how best to build on positive scores and improve in areas that need it, which will help to shape directorate action plans.