Avon and Wilshire NHS trust heavily criticised by its own staff

Avon and Wilshire NHS trust rated in bottom 20% by staff

By Ian Birch

The Avon and Wiltshire NHS Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust has come in for heavy criticism from its staff, in a survey which places it in repeatedly in the bottom fifth nationally, and in some cases in the bottom 10%.

Annual ReportThe Department of Health report showed that the figures for staff recommending the trust as a place to work or receive treatment were in the lowest 10% nationwide. The figures are for 2011 but have just been released.

The following were all rated to be in the bottom 20% or lower of mental health trusts nationwide:

  • Staff motivation at work
  • Quality of job design
  • Trust commitment to work-life balance
  • Receiving job-related training and development opportunities in past  year (bottom 10%)
  • Witnessing potentially harmful error, near misses or incidents in past month
  • Experiencing harassment, bullying or abuse from patients, relatives or the public in the past year
  • Communication between senior management and staff
  • Believing trust promotes equal opportunities and diversity  in career progression/promotion

Director of Nursing Hazel Watson told the BBC the trust's performance had been "very disappointing", saying the information comes at a time when its chief executive is on extended leave and the chair has resigned.

Ms Watson said she was not surprised at the results of the survey, adding:

"It's been a difficult couple of years for the trust and we've been through an enormous period of change.

"A number of staff have seen their jobs and team structures change and that's been very hard for people."

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