The winner of the acute trust of the year category at this year’s HSJ Awards has the most satisfied staff in the country. 

St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospital Trust came out top in a HSJ analysis which used NHS staff survey data to assess performance based on whether employees say they would recommend their organisation as a place to work or receive treatment. 

StH&K also recorded the lowest level of discrimination against staff for a non-specialist acute trust. 

The north-west trust triumphed over a short list containing a number of more high profile organisations including: Brighton and Sussex University, Chelsea and Westminster FT and Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals FT. 

St Helens and Knowsley was also notable for being one of the few organisations to see its draft Care Quality Commission rating upgraded — in its case from “good” to “outstanding”. The inspectorate said the data on the trust’s performance has been incorrectly aggregated. 

The HSJ Awards judges said: “This trust presented a superb all-round application, backed-up by robust outcomes for patients and the workforce; this was sustained over time and in challenging circumstances. It was felt that this trust was strongly placed in the local community with inspiring patient and staff stories. The trust demonstrated excellent staff engagement and development which is paying dividends in workforce retention.” 

The awards, now in their 39th year, are among the world’s most fiercely contested health service awards, attracting hundreds of entries from the NHS and its partners. 

Detail of all 23 category winners are here