Patient safety improving in Derbyshire, according to NHS staff survey

Patient safety is improving across Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, which provides specialist mental health, learning disability and children’s services across Derbyshire.

That is according to more than 400 people working for the Trust who took part in the latest National NHS Staff Survey.

Its findings revealed that the percentage of trust staff “witnessing potentially harmful errors, near misses or safety incidents” fell by a third.

It is one of two key findings highlighted within the report where local staff experience has improved the most.

The other stand-out area showing the biggest year-on-year improvement was the way in which the Trust engaged with staff.

Here, the number of staff who said there was good communications between senior management and staff increased by 25 per cent.

Other top-ranking scores included the number of staff taking advantage of flexible working options (10 per cent higher than the national average), and the amount of training provided in the areas of health and safety, and equality and diversity. It also performed well in helping staff achieve a work-life balance.

There was also a significant reduction in the number of staff who had experienced physical violence from patients, relatives or the public - down by one third.

A total of 417 staff from across all areas of the trust took part in the 2011 survey – a response rate of 53 per cent.

There were 38 questions, measuring their views on subjects ranging from job satisfaction, training opportunities to health and well-being.Feedback was compared with the previous staff survey from 2010, as well as results from similar Trusts throughout the NHS.

The survey also highlighted a number of areas where the Trust’s ranking was below the national average. This information is now being used to provide a platform for developing an action plan to address some of these issues.

The worst score related to the number of staff who reported suffering a work-related injury.

One in nine of the workforce said they had experienced such an injury, compared with a national average of about one-in-twelve.

Other areas where it was below average included the availability of hand washing materials and the number of staff who said they felt valued by colleagues.

The trust’s acting chief executive, Kathryn Blackshaw, said: “We are determined to improve our staff experience and thank everyone who took the time to take part.

“Their views provide a first-hand insight into areas where we are making progress – such as improving patient safety – as well as highlighting those where we clearly need to do better.

“We are a listening organisation as well as a caring one – staff views do count and contribute to the future success of the organisation.”