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Hospital chiefs praise staff after workplace survey

Hospital chiefs have paid tribute to their workers in Sunderland while acknowledging the effects the pandemic has had on their levels of job satisfaction.

By Katie Williams
Monday, 11th April 2022, 9:54 am

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Kath Griffin, director of human resources at the Trust.
Kath Griffin, director of human resources at the Trust.

A poll of staff at South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust found that fewer than two-thirds said would feel happy if a friend or relative needed to be treated by the organisation.

The 2021 annual survey found 65% of the 3,792 workers who responded said that if a friend or relative needed treatment, they would be happy with the standard of care provided – down from 71% the year before.

Nationally, 68% said they would be happy for a relative to be treated in their hospital – down from 74% in 2020 – and the survey also revealed a drop in satisfaction with care standards, concern over workforce numbers and discontent with pay and work-related stress.

Sunderland Royal Hospital.

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At the Trust – which runs Sunderland Royal Hospital - just 26% said there are enough staff for them to do their job properly – down from 42% in 2020 – and 47% of workers said they have felt unwell as a result of work-related stress, while 36% say they ‘often or always’ felt burnt out because of their job.

Some 64% said they still feel enthusiastic about their job, compared to 69% a year earlier.

Kath Griffin, director of human resources at the Trust, said: “We know how difficult the last 12 months have been for our staff and how hard they have worked to provide safe and compassionate care to our patients.

"Two-thirds of our workforce said they would be happy to recommend our services to family and friends. This is absolutely testament to the excellent care that our teams provide and we are extremely grateful for everything that they do.

"The unprecedented challenges of the pandemic and recovery of our services has undoubtedly had an impact and been extremely tough on everyone within the Trust.”

She added: "It was encouraging to see satisfaction levels above the national average in areas such as staff feeling we are compassionate and inclusive in terms of our equality and diversity and that we each have a voice that counts in terms of raising concerns.

“It’s vitally important that we understand how our staff feel about working in the NHS and the Trust and what more we must do to support them as we learn to live with COVID-19.

“Supporting the health and wellbeing of our team remains a key focus."

The survey results amid growing anger among unions over the pay of NHS workers.

Em Wilkinson-Brice, acting chief people officer for the NHS in England, said: “The NHS is nothing without the commitment and dedication of its staff.

“We know that the last two years will have had a knock-on effect, which is why we have maintained our focus on health and wellbeing as set out in our People Plan, including a 24/7 text support line, greater options of flexible working and rapid access to mental health services when needed.”