Headlines: August 12th, 2003

A range of attitude surveys by Trusts, the Department of Health and the Commission for Health Improvement to find out how health service staff feel about working in the NHS are to be discontinued. They will be replaced by a standard survey issued by the National Survey Advice Centre which operates within the CHI and also conducts patient surveysThe central survey which will go live in October is currently being trialled in five pilot sites. The questionnaire addresses the needs of local Trusts, CHI and the Department. The issues covered in the questionnaire include team working, clear responsibilities, access to and experience of a range of training and development opportunities, working hours, work life balance, job satisfaction, pay, incident reporting, managerial support, communication within the organisation, health and safety, bullying and harassment, violence, quality of patient care, and diversity within the workforce.

It is planned that questionnaires will be sent to a randomly selected sample of 850 staff at each Trust. For small Trusts, where there are fewer than 850 members of staff, it is likely that there will be a full census survey.

The Centre recommends that approved contractors carry out the survey to limit the risk that staff may be less frank if they believe that managers will read their responses.