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20%+ positive shift in NHS National Staff Survey results

Mon 11th December, 2017
20%+ positive shift in NHS National Staff Survey results

In early 2017, we published the national NHS Trust League Tables, based on your National Staff Survey (NSS) results.

What will your results look like this year? What would it mean to you to see a significant and lasting shift?

NHS leaders will see their results soon, with headlines they already know (and don’t need the NSS to tell them):

  • Staff morale and the motivation to keep going is at an all-time low
  • It is negatively impacting all major targets and measures, both clinical and operational
  • The current medicine isn’t working and isn’t sustainable.

By March, when the NSS results for all Trusts are un-embargoed, the DH and NHSE’s spokesmen will have burnished them so they appear 'pretty good given the circumstances', noting that the average percentage point is ‘up 0.02 from the same time last year’ or that ‘this indicator has shifted positively in the last 12 months to balance the drop in these other three’. It all feels a bit like the Russian Politburo who declared ‘the best ever harvest’ back in the 1980s, when anyone in Moscow queuing for bread at empty shops knew the reality.

There has to be a better way. Fortunately, there is.

Getting a 20%+ shift in National Staff Survey results at your Trust

Back in 2009, John Adler – CEO at Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust at the time – became the first NHS leader to adopt Listening into Action (LiA) on a widespread basis. His quest was to avoid finding himself back in the Boardroom once again looking at marginal improvements to some NSS questions, cancelled out by reduced scores in others.

Within a year, they had up to a 26% point increase in key questions. Moreover, teams working the LiA way had been making radical, measurable improvements to patient care in maternity, therapies, on wards, across the stroke care pathway, and in many other areas. A movement had been started, and they moved from strength-to-strength in subsequent years. Many other Trusts have successfully adopted LiA since then as their main vehicle to improve patient care through staff-led change. The evidence is irrefutable:

  • Significant shifts in National Staff Survey results – more than 20% in key questions
  • Improved position in the national League Tables
  • Improved CQC ratings
  • Moving out of Quality and Financial Special Measures
  • National profile for patient safety, culture shift, many aspects of patient care, operational performance.

If we take care of our staff, they will take care of our patients. This is not 'soft stuff', it's what delivers the 'hard stuff'.

We're going to be in real trouble this year, given the increasingly challenging context across the NHS. Remind yourself of your Trust's ranking in the League Tables for last year. What are your staff going to say this year? Will the results be better or worse? And what can you do about it in 2018? To find out what you can do to change the game - and to do the right things for your patients and staff - give us a call.

League Tables 


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