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Press release

The King's Fund responds to the latest NHS Staff Survey results

Commenting on the results of the latest NHS Staff Survey, Sally Warren, Director of Policy at The King’s Fund, said:

‘These findings, from 636,000 people working across the NHS, show that staff are being stretched to breaking point, with a third saying they often think of leaving. At a time when many people working across NHS are taking the difficult decision to strike over pay, safety and conditions, it is sadly not surprising that this survey paints a picture of staff feeling undervalued, under huge pressure and questioning their roles in the NHS.

‘Despite government pledges to recruit more staff, the figures show only a quarter of NHS employees feel there are enough staff for them to do their job properly. Additionally, only 63 per cent say that if a friend or relative needed treatment they would be happy with the standard of care provided by the NHS – a marked decline from 68 per cent last year.

‘When it comes to work culture, bullying and harassment among NHS staff continues to be a real issue. Nearly one in five report being bullied by colleagues and nearly one in 10 experience discrimination. And worryingly, 57 per cent of staff have come to work in the past three months despite not feeling well enough to perform their duties.

‘Today’s figures are a wake-up call to the government of the need for a fully-funded workforce plan that can ensure the right number of staff, with the right skills, working in a supportive culture, so they are able to deliver high quality care to patients.

‘Bringing down the NHS waiting list is one of the Prime Minister’s five key priorities, but it will not be possible to tackle the growing backlog of care if NHS staff continue to be work in over stretched teams and report that work makes them feel unwell. Looking after staff in the NHS should be the Prime Minister’s first priority if he wants to reduce waiting lists and waiting times. NHS core staff needs of autonomy, belonging and contribution must be met so that the NHS is a place where people want to work and are able to provide the best quality patient care that they can.’

Notes to editors

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The King's Fund is an independent charity working to improve health and care in England. We help to shape policy and practice through research and analysis; develop individuals, teams and organisations; promote understanding of the health and social care system; and bring people together to learn, share knowledge and debate. Our vision is that the best possible health and care is available to all.

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