Results published today show that staff who work for the South West Yorkshire Mental Health NHS Trust in Calderdale, Kirklees and Wakefield have a better work life balance than colleagues in similar organisations across the country.
NHS staff across the country were asked what they think about their working lives as part of the National NHS 2005 Staff Survey, which included questions about work life balance, team working, job satisfaction, training, management & supervision, violence and health & safety.
Results published today show that 62% of staff surveyed within the Trust, as part of the national survey, took time out of their busy jobs to say how they feel.
Staff were asked a series of questions to assess the extent to which they believe that the Trust and their immediate manager are committed to helping them find a good balance between their work and home life. Possible scores range from 1 to 5, with 1 representing virtually no commitment, and 5 representing excellent commitment The Trust’s score of 3.62 was in the highest 20% of mental health / learning disability trusts in England, this also shows an increase since 2003.
The Trust has also seen an increase in the extent of positive feeling within the Trust when staff were asked a series of questions about various issues including communication within the trust, employee involvement, innovation and patient care. The Trust’s score of 3.04 was above average for mental health / learning disability trusts in England.
Other results were also very positive, these included: • 97% of staff have received training, learning or development in the last 12 months, this is above the national average and has shown an increase from previous years • 78% of staff have received health and safety training in the previous 12 months. This was above the national average and has doubled from previous years results (35% in 2004) • 74% of staff said that they had taken advantage of flexible working options, this was above average for mental health / learning disability Trusts in England.
However, there were of course some results that indicate a need for improvement, such as: • 66% of staff said that they work longer than their contracted hours. However, this has reduced from 72% in 2003 and is nationally below average • 50% of staff had agreed a personal development plan as part of their appraisal, however this has shown a 15% increase since 2003 • 40% staff said they worked in a well structured team environment, this is below the national average.
Speaking about the results of the survey, Alan Davis, Director of Human Resources for the Trust said, ‘We are delighted with the progress made as demonstrated by the overall results, particularly those that show staff are achieving a good work life balance when working for our Trust. We will continue to develop initiatives to support this and clearly the survey has highlighted areas where we also need to do further work.
‘The survey is vital to the continued development of the Trust as feedback from staff on aspects of their working lives enables us to improve the way we manage, develop and enhance the potential of all Trust staff. Ultimately, this leads to better care for people who need to use our services, and their carers.’