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It will come as no surprise to those working in the health service, but according to leaked snippets from the NHS’ People Pulse survey, the workforce has reported a sharp drop in the perception of health and wellbeing support from their employer.

There has, over recent months, also been a dip in confidence in how local leaders are handling the impact on the pandemic, with particular concerns raised about the need for better communication.

The monthly survey was launched last year and is designed to measure employee experience and track staff wellbeing in the health service; these most recent results emphasise that NHS staff are increasingly feeling more demotivated and more anxious.

The poor state of the mental health and wellbeing of staff is deeply concerning but so are findings for the survey that over a third of staff felt unable to raise safety or health and wellbeing concerns at work for fear of reprisal or that nothing would be done.

Such survey results would be worrying enough in the middle of winter, but during summer is alarming. Evidently more needs to be done to support and inform staff before the unhappiest members of the workforce leave it altogether.

Heading the right way

The NHS in England saw the largest percentage drop in covid occupation in hospitals on Monday since 20 May.

There were 5,727 covid positive patients in hospitals on that day, 697 (11 per cent) fewer than the total recorded a week before. However, the total is still nearly eight times than recorded on 20 May, before the beginning of the summer wave, and similar to that seen in mid-March.

The last time the NHS had a fall in absolute terms greater than Monday’s 697 patients was on 4 April. 

The summer covid wave drove a steady increase until late July. A levelling off in bed occupancy was broken by a small surge to 6,424 last week.

The number of covid positive patients is now back to late August levels.