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2017 Scatter Map of National Staff Survey results for all ACUTE & COMMUNITY Trusts

Mon 13th March, 2017
2017 Scatter Map of National Staff Survey results for all ACUTE & COMMUNITY Trusts

The most common question following publication of the Acute Trust LiA Scatter Map and League Table last week has been: "Why can’t I see my Trust?". The answer? Acute Specialist Trusts and Combined Acute/Community Trusts are dealt with separately for the purposes of the National Staff Survey - they have different thresholds for assessing staff responses, so to plot them on the same map would be a misleading comparison of how any Acute Trust was faring compared with other Acutes ‘of a different type’. Get it? No, me neither!

The second most common question has been "So why doesn’t the System treat all Acutes in the same way and assess their results on the same thresholds?’ A very good question indeed. And the answer is? Not a clue. Perhaps someone at the Department of Health or NHS England can offer an explanation to everyone?

So, for those of you interested in how your ACUTE & COMMUNITY integrated care organisation has fared, this Scatter Map and associated League Table is for you.

We have reviewed and analysed the 32 Key Findings from the 2016 NSS results – produced by Picker Europe for the NHS – for 37 of the 39 Acute and Community Trusts for 2017 (Croydon Health Services Trust and Tameside and Glossop Integrated Care FT did not have comparable results for the last two years for different reasons).

Each 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 is included (below), highlighting the movement up or down the league table for each Trust, relative to their scatter map grid position.

So what can we glean from the ACUTE & COMMUNITY LiA Scatter Map:

  • Re-assuringly similar (!) to the ‘Acute only’ Scatter Map results, performance year-on-year according to staff in the Acute & Community sector has held up, with broadly similar numbers of Trusts ‘above the horizontal’. Equally, the same price is being paid in staff positivity, with a generally more pessimistic view from staff from the previous year. It’s getting harder and harder for staff to feel good about their working conditions
  • There is a much more uniform ‘scatter’ this year than last, across all quadrants and within each quadrant. Interestingly – again, similar to the Acute Trusts Scatter Map - there is no Trust in the 'bottom left' quadrant this year that was in it last year, so congratulations to those quadrant shifters. 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 organisation 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"
  • Unlike the Acute Trust Scatter Map, there does seem to be a stronger correlation between the achievement of Foundation Trust and how staff feel working in a Trust that has that status. Only Northern Devon as a non-FT has breached the top 10 performing Trusts according to staff NSS responses, and the non-FTs are more weighted towards the bottom 2 quadrants in this sector.
  • Harrogate and District leads the pack for the second year running, so congratulations to Dr Ros Tolcher and her team for their great staff response (‘one of a small number of medically-qualified CEOs nationally’ it says on their website, which, hopefully, has hit home at National level? Medics leading the Service again. Wow! Music to our LiA ears.

The most pleasing thing we’ve heard from many quarters since the publication of the Acute Trust Scatter Map and League Table last year is how valuable it has been in helping Trusts ‘see where they are nationally’. Great, that’s the intent, and, on the basis that ‘nothing gets done that doesn’t get measured’, if the map and table elicit a response from Trust Boards and actions happen as a result, we’ve accomplished our goals. No more minutiae discussions by Trust Boards about how their NSS results are ‘up 1% on this target’ or ‘below median but trending better than last year’, or ‘we’re top 20% on 3 key findings, one better than last year’. Nope, now it's crystal clear what your staff results tell you. Are they good? Bad? Or downright ugly? Check out the LiA Scatter Map and League Table to find the answer.


League Table

We have produced the League Table below for all ACUTE & COMMUNITY Trusts based on their LiA Scatter Map position. The National Staff Survey results on which the Scatter Map and League Tables are based are a summary of how staff feel about the leadership and culture of their Trust. Their response to 32 of the Picker Key Findings establishes the Trusts position on the scatter map for 2016. This position is then compared with each Trust’s position for 2015.

On the League Table, the colour-coding represents:

• In blue and yellow, a Trust status as an Foudation Trust (blue) or non-FT Trust (yellow)
• The league position for each Trust’s NSS results from best to worst
• The movement of each Trust up or down from last year’s position.

On this basis, the top 5 positive movers are: North Tees (+19); Sheffield Teaching (+15); Bucks Healthcare (+15); East Cheshire (+12); and South Warwickshire (+11).

The top 5 Trusts going the wrong way, in a big way, are: Royal Wolverhampton (-10); Southport & Ormskirk (-12); County Durham & Darlington (-16); South Tyneside (-16); and Stockport (-22).



The tables are designed to help CEOs and their leadership teams understand their NSS results, how they place the Trust within their peer group, and, hopefully, decide on a course of action that will build on success or address what staff say is not working for them at their own Trust.

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

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