If you’re fed up trying to understand your 2016-2017 National Staff Survey (NSS) results and what they tell you, help is at hand.
The Listening into Action (LiA) team’s annual review and analysis of the 32 Key Findings from the NSS results – produced by Picker Europe for the NHS – is complete for all 97 Acute Trusts. Others to follow soon.
All Trusts' results are reflected at a grid reference on a 32 by 32 ‘Scatter Map’ that shows how staff have rated the Trust’s leadership and culture over the past year.
It's simple to understand:
- The higher up you are, the better your Trust is performing against your peers in the eyes of your staff
- The further to the right you are, the more positive your trend, year-on-year.
So, the best quadrant to find your Trust in is 'top right': an above average performance and a positive trend. Second best is 'top left': a positive relative performance according to staff, but they are less positive than the same time last year. The second worst quadrant is 'bottom right': below median performance with some encouraging positivity from staff to soften the blow. The worst quadrant is 'bottom left', with staff views on leadership and culture resoundingly negative.
This year’s results have been updated and improved in several key ways:
• All 32 Key Findings have been included in the analysis, giving a complete picture of how staff feel
• Each Trust is colour-coded according to its status as either a Foundation Trust (blue) or a non-FT (yellow). Where more than one Trust occupies the same grid reference (green), their status is reflected in their name annotation
• A League Table of how each Trust has fared from last year to this year will be published later today to highlight some huge movements for Trusts, both positive and negative.
So what can we glean from the LiA Scatter Map?
Firstly, performance year-on-year according to staff has held up, with broadly similar numbers of Trusts ‘above the horizontal’. This has come at a price though, with a huge shift in staff positivity, in the wrong direction! It is hard not to draw the conclusion - in the Acute Sector at least – that the NHS is paying for the ongoing miracles in ‘keeping the lights on’ with the morale and motivation of its staff?
Secondly, there is a much wider ‘scatter’ this year than last, with a more uniform spread of Trusts across all quadrants and within each quadrant. Interestingly, there is no Trust in the troublesome 'bottom left' quadrant this year that was in it last year, so congratulations to those 'quadrant shifters' who have got themselves out of there. Equally, for those in the 'bottom left' quadrant in 2016-2017, the staff view has deteriorated significantly from 2015 and requires a radical response perhaps?
A negative 'quadrant shift' is not a great indicator of organisational health. Indeed, in his recent CQC State of Care Report into the NHS, Professor Sir Mike Richards, Chief Inspector of Hospitals, commented ‘We have found that the NHS Staff Survey is one of the most reliable predictors of the effectiveness of NHS trusts’ leadership and of the quality of care they provide for patients". Ouch!
Finally, for all the hoohah around achieving Foundation Trust status over the past 10 years, there seems to be very little correlation between becoming an FT and how staff feel working in a Trust that has it. The non-FTs are more than punching their weight across the board, just as some FTs find themselves in the bottom quadrants. Food for thought for the System perhaps?
On a final note, huge congratulations to Tracy Bullock and her leadership team at Mid-Cheshire for having the best National Staff Survey results in the Acute Sector for 2016-2017. A very honourable mention in dispatches too for Kevin McGee and his Executive Team at East Lancashire as the top performing non-FT according to their staff.
Download the PDF version of the LiA Scatter Map.
For further information on your Trust’s position and its implications, or to discuss your Trust’s response to the analysis, please contact Gordon Forbes, Director at Optimise Limited and owner/architect of Listening into Action (LiA) at 07734 812311 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org