Demoralised and bullied? What the figures show about NHS staff

Published: 12th May 2014

In an Independent article yesterday, two claims in particular caught our eye.

"New research has found demoralisation among staff. One in four of NHS staff questioned say they have been bullied or harassed."

On staff morale, it's not obvious which research is being referred to. A likely candidate is the King's Fund's quarterly monitoring report, published in April.

Of 74 NHS trust finance directors, 23 chose 'staff morale' as one of their top three concerns. This put morale as the top concern, just ahead of waiting times targets.

Last month we looked into the previous version of the report, and now as then there are a couple of caveats to the findings. The survey has a small sample size which means it may not be representative of the whole NHS. And it measures the level of concern directors feel about morale relative to other potential worries, not the level of morale as reported by the staff themselves.

The figures on bullying come from a 2013 survey which found that 23% of NHS staff reported being bullied, harassed or abused by colleagues, while 28% had suffered the same from  patients or other members of the public.

 


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