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The results of the 2022 Staff Survey have been published today. We received an impressive 71% response rate. This represents 3,702 of our people completing the survey. 

The results show that Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust’s (SCFT) scores have largely remained consistent with last year and there are positive highlights in key areas. Our headlines results:

  • 81% of people said care is the Trust’s top priority
  • 78% would recommend the care the Trust provides to family or friends
  • 69% would recommend the Trust as a place to work

We are compassionate and inclusive

Compassionate culture, compassionate leadership, and inclusion answers scored the highest for the Trust.

We’re proud to have a vibrant and active group of staff networks including our Black, Asian and minority ethnic network, LGBT+ network, Disability and Wellbeing Network and Religion, Spirituality and Belief Network. The networks aim to give everyone working or volunteering at SCFT a voice that counts.

Knowing that our people are our most valuable asset, we have continued to invest and we have recently launched our Menopause support package that includes a collection of resources, information, advice and guidance for staff members and managers. Perimenopause and menopause affect around two thirds of Sussex Community NHS Trust employees and we are committed to supporting our staff through this period in their lives.

We are recognised and rewarded

We scored in line with other community Trusts for being recognised and rewarded for our achievements with our scores being above average for our people feeling they receive recognition for good work.

We help to celebrate our teams and have consistently been shortlisted for national awards such as the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development awards in which our Trust Wellbeing Initiative was shortlisted in the Employee Experience category. Our nursing teams have been recognised nationally through the Nursing Times awards with our community palliative and end of life care nursing services being praised for their focus on patient-centred nursing care.

Our Freedom to Speak Up (FTSU) team received national accreditation at the Health Service Journal awards where they took home the award for their outstanding work embedding FTSU ambassadors at SCFT and ensuring that they are fully supported to perform their role.

We work flexibly

Our staff survey results reflected positively on the area of flexible working at SCFT and how this is enabling our people to have a greater work life balance.  We are committed to ensuring our people have a meaningful work life balance and we are supporting our managers to discuss flexible working arrangements for all our people.

We are always learning

We have seen improved results in our career development and appraisals conversations.  Individuals felt that there were opportunities for career development and access to the appropriate learning and development opportunities.  The recently launched Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust Learning Academy is evidence of this commitment. You can find out more about the clinical apprenticeships offered as part of our Learning academy here.   We will continue to build and expand the SCFT Learning Academy with the goal of providing all our people learning opportunities. 

Appraisals were also highlighted as an area of improvement with many staff feeling that appraisals provided them with clear objectives and helped them to feel valued. More people had an appraisal with their manager over the past 12 months and our people felt that this helps them to fulfil their potential.   

We continue to develop our individuals, recognising the important role that they play in helping the organisation to move forward. For example, our nursing colleagues have opportunities to undertake Florence Nightingale scholarships which offers leadership training for senior leaders through to staff nurses and midwives. Our teams also work with our internal Quality Improvement team to embed quality improvement methodology and we are soon to host over 300 colleagues at our inaugural Digital Innovation Conference.

We are safe and healthy

Patient and staff safety is vitally important. We know that from our 2022 staff survey results that our staff feel safe at work.  The introduction of our new Patient Safety Partner roles launched in Q4 of 2022/23 enables patients and members of the public to support our Patient Safety team. The Patient Safety Partners will work together collaboratively to advise on policies, procedures and improve patient safety culture across the Trust.

Our people have access to a comprehensive package of emotional, physical and mental wellbeing support and we’re pleased to have seen our scores increase for the number of our colleagues who feel that the Trust take positive action on health and wellbeing.

Through our wellbeing fund, the Trust has funded 95 projects directly impacting our teams. These range from improving working environments to team building workshops.

We each have a voice that counts

We know there are always ways we can improve and recognise that our people often work in highly pressured and fast paced working environments. SCFT is committed to being an open and transparent place to work and through our Freedom To Speak Up programme, we have trained guardians and ambassadors across the Trust who offer safe, confidential and supportive spaces where staff can speak up, particularly if they feel unable to do so by other routes. 

We know that there are areas of improvement and understand that there may be times when staff feel under pressure due to unrealistic time constraints and/or conflicting demands and we will work together with our people to address these concerns. 

We are committed to working with our senior leadership team and managers from across the Trust to further embed an open and honest speak up and listening culture. Part of this is strengthening our two-way conversations and ensuring that we listen and respond to feedback from our teams.

We are a team

The results reflect a strong sense of teamwork across the Trust and how colleagues feel strongly attached to and valued by their teams.  Leadership was also highlighted in the results, with our people saying they felt that their managers cared about their concerns, valued their work, gave clear feedback and took a positive interest in health and wellbeing.

Mike Jennings, Interim Chief Executive, commented: “The annual staff survey results are a vital benchmarking tool that shows us where we are delivering on our promises to our workforce and where we need to re-align our focus. As set out in our strategy, we are committed to being a great place to work and these results will help to guide our thinking as we work together to make SCFT an even better place to work with patient and staff experience at the heart of what we do.”

Caroline Haynes, Chief People Officer, commented: “I’m pleased to see that our results remain largely consistent with the successes of last year’s results and that we have continued to improve in areas such as being compassionate and inclusive to both our people and our patients. We are working with our local teams to develop action plans so that teams feel empowered to improve the areas that they work in.”