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LiA Scatter Map for Mental Health and Learning Disability Trusts based on National Staff Survey 2017-2018

Fri 9th March, 2018
LiA Scatter Map for Mental Health and Learning Disability Trusts based on National Staff Survey 2017-2018

Birmingham & Solihull Mental Health FT look away now. South Staffordshire and Shropshire Healthcare FT break out the bunting!

The results are in for the LiA national analysis of the 2017-2018 National Staff Survey for all 25 Mental Health & Learning Disability NHS Trusts, and the scatter map is attached below.

We’re getting stacks of calls from CEOs keen to figure out ‘which square we’re on?’

Very interestingly, they are almost exclusively from CEOs and their Executive colleagues where their results are an improvement from last year.

I guess the NHS culture of making the most of things when there is success to share - whilst keeping your head down when things are less rosy - is alive and well? Local leaders are understandably well disposed to rolling with the punches and constant challenge from National that when things are going well, its worthy of widespread celebration. And quite right too.

For those not so fortunate, its important in a risk free environment (from us anyway!) to understand where you are, why you’re there, and what you can do about it. Just imagine being a ‘quadrant shifter’ of your own this time next year (a good one, that is!). The mantra for those whose results aren’t great? Good news is great news. Bad news is good news. And no news is just rubbish. Better to know where you are, be honest about it, and work with staff to fix what’s wrong. There’s no other way (it’s a bit like having toothache, and hoping it’ll pass without going to the dentist).

Talking of teeth, frontline staff are fed up to the back of them with being done too. By NHSE, by NHSI, by the CQC, by the army of Management Consultants assaulting the senses with their latest Transformation Initiaitive or the ubiquitous Programme Management Office, by the special measures regime, by the financial special measures regime, and by any number of other professional bodies, all desperate to tell local leaders and professional healthcare staff what they’re doing wrong, and what to do to put it right. Well. If that was gonna work, I guess it would have worked by now?

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.


Dowload 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
• They are replaced instead 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 call Gordon on 07734 812311 or email to and we will happily share this with interested CEOs and HRDs.

And so to the results.

There are 25 Mental Health & Learning Disability Trusts this year whose results bear strict comparison. In similar fashion to the Acute sector, the ‘movement’ on the Scatter Map is clear: it’s downwards and leftwards.

The rate of decline in the results in the MH&LD sector mirrors their Acute colleagues. This is not just an acute hospital pressures induced enormous speedbump; it’s a national malaise, affecting all CEOs and their teams trying manfully to plot a course through the carnage of doing more and more with less and less. Its tempting to think that the results are a shock. But, sadly, they’re exactly as expected I sense.

In 2016-2017, there were 13 Trusts in the top right quadrant; this year it’s down to 11, a 15% reduction in Trusts where staff rate leadership and culture above average and better than last year.

In 2016-2017, there were 8 Trusts in the bottom right quadrant – trying to get better – and now there are only 3, a 62% shift away from trending positively. No prizes for guessing where they’ve gone: 100% increase in bottom left Trusts and 66% increase in top left. The trend is really, really bad. Importantly, for local leaders, this is how staff feel now. This year. And for the rest of this year. How are staff meant to deliver safe, effective, caring, responsive care to their patients and service users when they feel like this? Answers on a postcard to the DH.

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 7 out of 25 Trusts have improved, whilst 17 out of 25 Trusts have seen worse results. One Trust mapped this year wasn’t included last year as they had just merged (so you know which square you are).

And so to individual Trusts.

Retaining top slot is SSSFT, although even the best of the best have declined in their staff survey results. Tough condition, so great job. Birmingham and Solihull’s decline from 3rd bottom last year to rank last this year is really sad. An LiA Trust 3 years ago and doing well has gone backwards again.

A huge mention in dispatches to Tavistock and Portman for their stellar quadrant shift, and honourable mentions too for Lincs Partnership, North Staffs Combined, and West London for serious improvement too.

Going the other way are Sheffield H&SC and South West London & St George’s.

Community Trusts next. Where’s the betting? Better? Or worse?


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