The interim People Plan, published last summer, set out some key themes for the NHS to focus on in the years ahead, including ‘Making the NHS the best place to work’, ‘Improving leadership culture’ and ‘Delivering 21st century care’.

The annual staff survey has for the first time organised the results into themes. Below is a breakdown of the best and worst trusts in each of the themes most related to the future People Plan priorities. Scores have been reported as mean scores out of 10, with a higher theme score always indicating a more favourable result.

Ambulance trusts typically have worse scores in the staff survey, so appear in many of the “bottom five” tables below. North Cumbria University Hospitals Trust also appears in three of the tables — it merged during 2019, which it has told HSJ affected its results. Its new chief executive said: “We can make rapid improvements.”

Morale

The 2019 staff survey calculated morale by combining questions relating to stress and intention to leave. Questions included ‘I often think about leaving this organisation’ and ‘I have unrealistic time pressures’. Below are the top and bottom five trusts nationally for this measure.

Top five2018 Score2019 Score
Northumbria Healthcare Foundation Trust 6.67 6.84
Northern Devon Healthcare Trust 6.54 6.76
The Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals Foundation Trust 6.61 6.74
South Warwickshire Foundation Trust 6.54 6.74
Dorset Healthcare University Foundation Trust 6.59 6.73
Bottom five2018 Score2019 Score
East of England Ambulance Service Trust 4.87 5.08
North Cumbria University Hospitals Trust 5.74 5.49
North East Ambulance Service Foundation Trust 5.82 5.50
London Ambulance Service Trust 5.50 5.51
South Western Ambulance Service Foundation Trust                             5.35 5.59

Immediate managers

The interim People Plan set out the key role leaders play in shaping the culture of NHS organisations and the staff survey also draws out how staff rate their immediate managers. It combined questions and statements such as ‘my immediate manager values my work’ and ‘my manager supported me to receive training, learning or development’.

Top five2018 Score2019 Score
Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership Trust 7.55 7.69
Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust                             7.48 7.68
Leeds and York Partnership Foundation Trust 7.39 7.63
Surrey and Borders Partnership Foundation Trust 7.38 7.61
Kent Community Health Foundation Trust 7.37 7.57
Bottom five2018 Score2019 Score
East of England Ambulance Service Trust 5.26 5.40
South Western Ambulance Service Foundation Trust                             5.86 5.91
North Cumbria University Hospitals Trust 6.24 6.00
East Midlands Ambulance Service Trust 6.13 6.17
North East Ambulance Service Foundation Trust 6.58 6.20

Health and wellbeing

It is known that flexible working — which is a key measure in the health and wellbeing theme — will continue to be expanded on in the final People Plan. The interim plan pledged to develop a new offer for staff, which would set out “explicitly” the support staff can expect from the NHS as a modern employer.

Within the health and wellbeing theme, questions and statements considered included ‘opportunities for flexible working’ and ‘does your organisation take positive action on health and wellbeing?’. 

Top five2018 Score2019 Score
Cambridgeshire Community Services Trust 6.54 6.66
Yeovil District Hospital Foundation Trust 6.65 6.66
Northumbria Healthcare Foundation Trust 6.59 6.64
Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership Trust                              6.59 6.61
Dorset Healthcare University Foundation Trust 6.39 6.60
Bottom five2018 Score2019 Score
East of England Ambulance Service Trust 4.48 4.58
London Ambulance Service Trust 4.58 4.73
Isle of Wight Trust (ambulance sector) 5.00 4.74
North West Ambulance Service Trust 5.01 4.86
North East Ambulance Service Foundation Trust                                   5.25 4.95

Staff engagement

The interim People Plan set out a target to include more metrics on staff engagement in the NHS oversight framework by March 2020, and the staff survey also considers this theme. It combines questions and statements around motivation, recommending an organisation as a place to work and opportunities to improve their organisation and area of work.

Top five2018 Score2019 Score
The Royal Marsden Foundation Trust 7.73 7.65
Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital Trust 7.59 7.62
The Walton Centre Foundation Trust 7.44 7.60
Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital Foundation Trust                           7.64 7.60
Northumbria Healthcare Foundation Trust 7.45 7.56
Bottom five2018 Score2019 Score
East of England Ambulance Service Trust 5.68 5.80
North Cumbria University Hospitals Trust 6.52 6.09
London Ambulance Service Trust 6.16 6.13
North East Ambulance Service Foundation Trust 6.50 6.22
South Western Ambulance Service Foundation Trust                            6.16 6.24