NHS Trusts Poor Management Practice

The Healthcare Commission has published a report based on an annual survey of 155 000 NHS staff and some of the findings make interesting reading for the progressive manager.

  • Only 26% thought their trust valued their work. This figure ranged between trusts from 58% to 11%.
  • Survey responses indicate poor levels of communication between staff and senior management, with only 22% thinking it is effective.
  • The survey shows that only 53% receive clear feedback on their work.
  • Results from previous NHS surveys have shown that staff who had received an appraisal in the previous 12 months were more satisfied with their jobs and less likely to consider leaving.
  • In spite of this fact only just over 60% of staff had been given an appraisal in the previous 12 months.
  • Only 39% of staff were satisfied or very satisfied with the recognition they get for good work. Not feeling valued was the reason most often given by staff who said they were thinking about leaving their jobs.
  • Communication between staff and senior managers is poor. Only 23% said senior managers involved staff in important decisions and only 22% considered communication between staff and senior management to be effective. Thirty-one per cent said senior managers encouraged staff to suggest new ideas and 17% said different parts of the trust communicate effectively with each other.

For the Leeds Teaching Hospital Trust only 47% of staff said that they had received an appraisal or performance development review in the last 12 months. Only 16% said that they had received an appraisal or performance development review in the last 12 months in which they had agreed clear objectives for their work, which they had found useful in helping them improve how they do their job, and which had left them feeling that their work is valued by their employer.

Things were marginally better in the Leeds Primary Care Trust. 22% of staff at the trust said that they had received an appraisal or performance development review in the last 12 months, in which they had agreed clear objectives for their work, which they had found useful in helping them improve how they do their job, and which had left them feeling that their work is valued by their employer. The trust’s score of 22% was below average for PCTs in England.

39% of staff at the Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust said that they had agreed a personal development plan as part of their appraisal or performance development review in the last 12 months. The trust’s score of 39% was in the lowest 20% of acute trusts in England. The trust’s 2007 score has not changed significantly since the 2006 survey, when 39% of staff also gave this response!

What puzzles me is how any organisation can survive these appalling statistics. And I think the NHS is probably no worse than many in the public, private and third sectors.

The quality of management in the UK is generally poor. I think this shows the massive potential for performance improvement that lies in simply getting the management basics right.

Anyone for Progressive Management?

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3 Responses

  1. That’s pretty shocking stuff Mike, all the moreso for not being that surprising. I’ve blogged before about poor service in the NHS:
    http://thesocialbusiness.typepad.com/the_social_business/2008/03/lord-mancroft-a.html
    and it’s no surprise that the quality of service is so varied when such poor management is widespread.

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