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Annual NHS staff survey reveals Havering’s mental health trust Nelft is under-performing

PUBLISHED: 17:30 16 March 2017 | UPDATED: 17:40 16 March 2017

Picture: PA/Lynne Cameron

Picture: PA/Lynne Cameron

PA Wire/PA Images

Staff stress and work-related health problems at an NHS trust providing mental health services in Havering are worse than nationally.

This graphic from the NHS Staff Survey shows North East London NHS Foundation Trust was rated as underperforming by employees in 20 of 32 categories. Source: nhsstaffsurveys.com This graphic from the NHS Staff Survey shows North East London NHS Foundation Trust was rated as underperforming by employees in 20 of 32 categories. Source: nhsstaffsurveys.com

The results of the latest NHS Staff Survey show North East London NHS Foundation Trust (Nelft) was rated below average when compared to similar trusts nationally in 20 of 32 categories.

Two thirds of staff at Nelft said they had attended work in the last three months despite feeling unwell because of pressure from colleagues, managers or themselves.

Thirty-eight per cent reported feeling unwell due to work-related stress in the last year.

Dagenham and Rainham MP Jon Cruddas said it was clear staff felt “overstretched and under pressure” and Romford MP Andrew Rosindell described the results as “disappointing”.

Mr Rosindell said: “The trust’s inadequacies are clear for all to see and as someone who has long supported charities such as Havering Mind, we must ensure mental healthcare is not overlooked.”

Romford MP Andrew Rosindell called for urgent action to improve staff morale Romford MP Andrew Rosindell called for urgent action to improve staff morale

Both MPs urged Neflt to treat the survey results seriously.

Mr Cruddas said: “It is no coincidence that with increasing staff pressure comes increasing risk to care, and it is something that needs to be addressed.”

The poll also found staff confidence in reporting clinically unsafe practice at Nelft was below average. But employees were satisfied with opportunities for flexible working and with levels of responsibility and support they received from managers at the trust.

A Nelft spokesman said: “While it is disappointing that the staff survey figures are slightly down in some categories, the results were similar to what we expected after the disappointing CQC inspection report and its effect on staff morale.”

A Care Quality Commission (CQC) report last September found Nelft “required improvement”.

Jon Cruddas MP said Nelft staff were 'overstretched and under pressure'. Picture: PA/Jane Mingay Jon Cruddas MP said Nelft staff were 'overstretched and under pressure'. Picture: PA/Jane Mingay

Services at the Brookside unit at Goodmayes Hospital – Nelft’s child and adolescent mental health wards – were also heavily criticised.

But Nelft bosses say actions to improve standards are already underway.

“Since the survey was completed our Brookside Unit, which we temporarily closed for renovations, has received a glowing endorsement from the CQC,” said the Nelft spokesman.

“With that encouraging news and the resources being put into staff wellbeing and retention, we believe the trust is currently in a more positive position than the results imply.”

HOW DID NELFT COMPARE TO OTHER NHS TRUSTS?

The NHS Staff Survey shows how North East London NHS Foundation Trust (Nelft) staff rated their employer compared to combined mental health or learning disability and community trusts nationwide.

BETTER THAN AVERAGE

* 11 per cent of staff experienced physical violence from patients, relatives or the public in the last 12 months (15pc nationally).

* 90pc of staff agreed their role made a difference to patients (89pc nationally).

WORSE THAN AVERAGE

* 67pc of staff attended work in the last three months despite feeling unwell because of pressure from a manager, colleague or themselves (55pc nationally).

* Only 50pc of staff said they would recommend Nelft as a workplace (57pc nationally).

* 55pc of staff would be happy with the standard of care provided by Nelft if a friend or relative needed treatment (66pc nationally).

Explore the findings in more detail via the NHS staff survey website

WHAT DID LOCAL MPS SAY ABOUT THE NHS STAFF SURVEY RESULTS?

Jon Cruddas (Dagenham and Rainham): “It is clear from the report that staff at Nelft feel overstretched and under pressure, and it is no coincidence that earlier this year serious incidents were at an all-time high. The numbers aren’t all bad, but it is clear that there is much room for improvement.”

Andrew Rosindell (Romford) said: “As an organisation, I know Nelft strive to deliver the best possible care and will improve from this point onwards. Nevertheless, I will be speaking with Nelft to ensure actions are already in place in order to rectify areas of concern, such as incident reports and resourcing.”

Angela Watkinson (Hornchurch and Upminster) said: “I welcome the new priority the government has placed on mental health provision, and any measure to improve staff morale and patient experience in this very challenging area of health care.”

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