The proportion of NHS staff who would recommend their organisation as a place to work is steadily dropping, latest survey results reveal.

The Department of Health has today published its 2011 staff survey, carried out between September to December last year. It covered 366 NHS organisations and 134,967 staff in England .

It shows 51 per cent of staff would recommend their organisation as a place to work, down from 53 per cent in 2010 and 55 per cent in 2009.

However, the majority of staff said they feel satisfied with the quality of care they provide to patients (87 per cent), with nine out of 10 feeling their role makes a difference to patients. Only 11 per cent stated that they would be unhappy with the standard of care provided by their organisation.

But there was a slight drop in the proportion of those who agreed with the statement: “If a friend or relative needed treatment, I would be happy with the standard of care provided by this organisation”, from 63 per cent, down from 64 per cent.

Less than a third (30 per cent) said there were enough staff for them to do their job properly, down from 32 per cent the previous year.

Just under a third of all staff (31 per cent) reported they often felt like leaving their organisation - up from 29 per cent in 2010. Meanwhile, 22 per cent said they would probably look for a job at a new organisation in the next 12 months, up from 21 per cent.

The proportion who said they would leave their organisation as soon as they could find another job was 16 per cent, a percentage point more than in 2010.

Staff from commissioning primary care trusts were the most likely to say they would leave their organisation as soon as they could find another job (25 per cent).

Only 38 per cent of staff were satisfied with their level of pay, down 2 percentage points from 2010.

However, the proportion of staff receiving appraisals increased from 77 per cent to 80 per cent in 2011. In 2009 it was 69 per cent.

The survey’s response rate was 54 per cent, the same as last year.

The best performers include Liverpool Heart and Chest Foundation Trust, Queen Victoria Hospital Foundation Trust, Clatterbridge Centre for Oncology Foundation Trust and Papworth Hospital Foundation Trust, which all scored most highly on standard of care, staff motivation and feeling valued by colleagues.

Health secretary Andrew Lansley said: “This survey shows that NHS staff remain committed to providing the highest quality of care to their patients. The number of staff happy with the standard of care remains stable, with some foundation trusts performing to a very high standard.

“Too many trusts continue to have less favourable levels of recommendation to ‘family and friends’. The NHS should use this as a basis for seeing improvement in the services we deliver for patients in the future.”

But Unison head of health Christina McAnea said the results showed “increased levels of stress being heaped on staff by a combination of government cuts, the Health and Social Care Bill and the continuing pay freeze”.