Northern Devon Healthcare ‘best in country’

Staff survey highlights ‘significant improvements’

NORTHERN Devon Healthcare Trust has been ranked among the best NHS trusts in the country by its own staff, according to the latest nationwide survey.

The annual look at what NHS staff think of life at work during 2011 also highlights significant improvements since 2010.

The survey was carried out last October, six months after an additional 1,700 community-based staff had joined the Trust from NHS Devon.

According to its staff, the Trust ranks among the top fifth of NHS trusts in 14 areas of the survey out of 38, compared to 10 last year. It performs above average in a further 16 areas, below average in one area.


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The areas in which Northern Devon was rated among the best fifth of NHS trusts included:

Job satisfaction, team-working and support from immediate managers were among the top rated areas. Staff also felt valued by work colleagues and that their role made a difference to patients.

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It was better than average for issues such as work load; patient care; levels of work-related injuries and stress; and levels of aggression from patients, visitors and the public.

The only area where the Trust emerged below average was for the proportion of staff having well-structured appraisals in the previous 12 months.

Maureen Bignell, director of personnel and development, said: “A lot of work has gone into making sure staff get the support and help they need, so they can do a good job for patients. Sometimes progress can be slow, and we know there’s always more we could do, but we’re seeing a gradual improvement over the years.

“It’s good to look around as well sometimes, to see how we’re faring within the wider NHS. To be rated above average or in the top fifth of trusts on more than three-quarters of all the questions says something about the enthusiasm and dedication of people within the Trust. And that enthusiasm and dedication pays dividends for patients.”

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