NHS staff survey – More lessons to be learnt

Commenting on the latest NHS staff survey, Christina McAnea, Head of Health for UNISON, the UK’s largest health union, said:

“It is clear that more work is needed on implementing key recommendations in the Francis Report – that is changing the culture of the NHS and ensuring effective staff engagement.  It is sad to see that less than a third of staff reported that senior managers act on feedback from their staff. Staff are at the sharp end and it is vital that they are listened to  – that is the real way to improve patient care and managers disregard their input at their peril.

“NHS staff do an amazingly tough job and it is shameful to learn that just 41% feel satisfied that their trust values their work. The survey also shows the shocking extent to which ambulance workers feel valued, with only 21% agreeing that this is the case. 

“Some of the dissatisfaction clearly comes from the fact that two thirds of staff are clearly unhappy about pay in the NHS. The pay freeze and squeeze has left a toll on the NHS.  It has left many NHS staff struggling to cope financially as well as feeling that their work is not valued by this Government.  The remedy is to lift the pay cap and give the NHS team including nurses, paramedics, cleaners cooks and therapists a decent rise this year.” 

The union is also calling for more action to protect staff and tougher penalties for patients or their relatives who attack NHS staff.   

Christina McAnea went on to say:

“It is a disgrace that any member of staff should be attacked when their whole job is to help people.  We want tougher penalties and more prosecutions to ensure that those that break the law get the punishment they deserve.”