Survey Reveals Improvements For NHS Staff

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A record number of improvements in the 2008 annual NHS staff survey, including best ever results for infection control, was welcomed by Health Minister Ann Keen today.

The sixth annual staff survey, which gives an insight into the real issues affecting NHS staff, was redesigned this year to better reflect the four pledges to staff in the NHS Constitution:

1. Roles, responsibilities and rewarding jobs
2. Personal development, access to training and line management support
3. Maintaining health, well being and safety, and
4. engaging staff in decisions that affect them.

More of the key findings have improved than ever before with eighteen improvements reported this year in key areas. Most notable is a record improvement in infection control.

Key findings of the survey include:

* Job satisfaction remains high

* Nine out of ten staff feel their role makes a difference to patients

* Ongoing improvements in staff development and appraisal

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* An increase of 10 percentage points in the availability of hand-washing materials and an increase of 12 percentage points from 2006 of staff receiving training on infection control

* Fewer staff intending to leave the NHS - down 5 percentage points to 31%

Where there are areas in the survey that need improvement the Department of Health will ask NHS organisations to use the survey results to develop clear action plans to tackle these issues.

Health Minister Ann Keen said: "Today's publication reinforces what many people know to be true about working in the NHS. It is a highly satisfying and rewarding career because ultimately wherever you are in the NHS the job is about helping and benefitting patients. Nine out of ten staff report their job makes a difference for patients."

"At the same time the survey shows that areas of concern remain which include unacceptable acts of violence to staff. The fact there is a number of people who think it is acceptable to abuse or physically assault staff who are there to care for them is simply disgraceful."

"NHS organisations need to listen and respond to what their staff are telling them through their individual survey results with clear action plans to tackle the issues raised."

Chief Nursing Officer, Christine Beasley said: "The significantly higher ratings on the availability of hand-washing materials, on training and promotion of infection control shows the NHS is serious in tackling the spread of hospital infections and we are improving year on year.

"The NHS is only as good as its staff and making progress to improve working in the NHS will help to ultimately deliver better quality patient care and experience. This is why the NHS staff survey is so important - it is a key tool to deliver improvement for staff and patients."

Clare Chapman, Director of NHS Workforce, said: "The ambition for the workforce is that they have what is needed to deliver high quality care. These results are the best ever and the substantial improvements in staff satisfaction reported this year gives us confidence that this ambition is achievable. 64% of staff are telling us they can contribute to improvements at work. We need to build on this success by involving staff immediately in taking action in response to this survey."

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