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LiA Scatter Map for Acute Trusts based on National Staff Survey 2017-2018

Thu 8th March, 2018
LiA Scatter Map for Acute Trusts based on National Staff Survey 2017-2018

So, the LiA Scatter Map ‘national position’ results based on the 2017-2018 NHS National Staff Survey (NSS) results are in. And those of a nervous disposition should look away now!

For staff in the Acute-only Trust sector have spoken on how they rate leadership and culture at their Trust. And the big picture doesn’t make pretty reading.

The ‘National medicine’ of more command and control, more central dictat, more targets and pressures, and more unhelpful ‘interventions’ from regulators and ‘over-seers’, has resulted in the worst set of NSS results we have seen since starting this analysis eight years ago.

It may be that this is just happening in the Acute sector – more on this over the next few days – but somehow we doubt it?

As a reminder, the Scatter Maps show an analysis of the 32 Key Findings from the latest National Staff Survey (NSS) results – produced by Picker Europe for the NHS. 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.  

Download a PDF copy of the scatter map 

Those of you familiar with our Scatter Maps from previous years will recognise some changes:

• Gone are the yellow and blue boxes that highlighted whether your organisation was a Foundation Trust or not – this was not proving to be useful or relevant
• These are replaced by red and green boxes, reflecting whether an individual Trust’s results are better or worse than last year: red for worse, green for better – and a more visual sense of ‘Whose results are going the wrong way?’
• Trust identifiers are shown only for the best and worst performing Trusts at this stage, for a couple of reasons: 1) We don’t want the named Trust Scatter Map to detract from the wider messages staff are giving national and local leaders; and 2) We want Trust leadership to reflect on where they think they are before we release the results
• If you want to find out your Trust’s position according to your staff, please contact Gordon Forbes on 07734 812311 or via email and we will happily share this with interested CEOs and HRDs.

And so to the results...

There are 92 Acute-only Trusts this year, with 5 having transitioned to Acute and Community status or merged to form new Trusts.

The ‘movement’ on the Scatter Map is clear, and it is downwards and leftwards. The overall performance is dropping like a stone, and the deterioration in how staff feel is accelerating. Last year there were 43 Trusts in the ‘top-right’ quadrant, this year only 34, down 9. Last year there were 21 Trusts in the ‘bottom-right’, this year only 12, down 9. Last year there were ‘only’ 15 Trusts in the worst quadrant, this year there are 27, up 12.

This is a 21% shift away from the best-performers quadrant, a 42% deteriorating trend in staff positivity away from the ‘bottom right’ quadrant, and a massive 80% increase in Trusts finding themselves in the ‘bottom left’ quadrant!

The rate of decline is alarming on a national level.

On top of the general shift, if you look at last year’s Scatter Maps, you’ll see a far more even distribution across all quadrants and within quadrants than the current year’s ‘clustering tendency’ which is further left and further down the overall grid. On top of that, the red/green colour-coding shows that 39 out of 92 Trusts have improved, whilst 53 out of 92 Trusts have seen worse results. That’s a big, big deterioration, no matter what may be said to the contrary.

And so to individual Trusts…

Take a bow The Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, for a quite remarkable set of results from staff in the current national context. They might only have gone up one place from their league position last year, but the results are a trend-bucker. At the other end of the staff views score, take a tablet and lie down Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust, languishing rank bottom of all 92 Acutes, and down one place from their 96 out of 97 Acute Trusts last year. Whatever Trust leadership and management are doing? It isn’t working!

We’re also really big on ‘Quadrant Shifters’ – those Trusts whose staff see them go from ‘bottom-left’ to ‘top-right’, or from ‘top-right’ in the other direction. These results highlight a fairly stark change going on locally: sometimes good, sometimes bad.

So there are 2 Trusts who’ve managed to go ‘bottom-left’ to ‘top-right’: Burton, and Ipswich. Great job guys!

The list of those on the reverse journey is longer and less illustrious according to the National Staff Survey results: Barking, Havering and Redbridge; Basildon and Thurrock; Calderdale and Huddersfield; Countess of Chester; University Hospitals of Leicester; University Hospitals of South Manchester; and Wirral. In addition to these Trusts, 3 others have seen a seemingly dramatic collapse in staff results: East and North Herts; Mid Essex, and Oxford University. Time for Plan B for some Trust Executives?

Happy digesting everyone! We’re here to chat through if that would be helpful.

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