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Suzanne Rankin

Suzanne Rankin
Chief Executive


This week I’d like to talk about staff views on working at Ashford and St Peter’s. Last week we received the results of the 2019 National Staff Survey, completed between October-December 2019. The purpose of the survey is to collect staff views about working in their NHS organisation. The data is used to improve local working conditions and experience for teams, and ultimately to improve patient care.

The survey is completed annually so views can be monitored over time, allowing the NHS to compare the experiences of staff in similar organisations, and to compare the experiences of staff in a particular organisation with the national picture. I’m delighted that our response rate increased by 8% in 2019 and was completed by 2003 colleagues (350 more than 2018). It’s really important that staff share their views so we can get a better understanding of what is working well and where we can make improvements together.

The overall results show that we have been consistent in maintaining improvements over the past six years which is really positive given the continued pressure on services and you the team.

We are above the national average for themes around quality of appraisals and staff engagement. The results showed that the appraisal process was helpful to make improvements, and set staff objectives and that these aligned with the Trust values. One of the areas that we didn’t do as well in was the number of people who are having an appraisal, which has deteriorated since last year so this is definitely something that we’ll be looking at over the coming months. It seems that for those that get an appraisal it’s a good experience but far too many colleagues are not getting the benefit of this opportunity.

One of the areas we’ve made the biggest improvement in is colleagues having the confidence to feel secure raising concerns about unsafe clinical practice. Our vision is to provide an outstanding experience and the best possible outcome and psychological safety is imperative to this. I’m delighted that we’ve made progress in this area and would encourage staff to familiarise themselves with the Freedom to Speak Up Guardians (FTSUG) who are members of Team ASPH, recognised as independent, impartial and confidential sources of advice and support for staff who want to raise a concern, particularly when there is an actual or potential impact on patient safety.

An area that we scored below the national average is Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, where we know there is work to do to ensure that all members of the team feel valued, and that the ASPH culture is inclusive and ensures the needs of all are met. We’ll be working alongside our BAME and LGBTQ networks over the coming months to increase the understanding of issues directly relating to them and ensure that the right support is available.

Going forward we'll be discussing directly with divisions and department leads to understand the scores for individual areas and how we might work with staff on the issues where significant improvement has been made and other areas where respondents have expressed concerns.

The survey also gives the opportunity to leave comments and I just wanted to share a couple of those too. Some of the comments were about having access to more support for mental health and staff wellbeing in general; this is something that is very much on our agenda, and the HR team will shortly be re-launching the Trust health and wellbeing initiative, with wellbeing ambassadors who will champion this and be a point of contact and support for staff. The staff wellbeing hubs, part of the transformation programme, will also offer improved staff facilities including a gym, quiet space to relax and dining area.

I’d like to end on a positive note from a team member who commented; ‘This organisation is full of brilliant people working really hard every day to deliver great care to patients’ and I’d really like to echo that. I truly believe that this team and this organisation is full of wonderful hard working committed people and I know that by working collaboratively we will continue to make improvements and be even better into the future. Well done and thank staff for taking the time to fill in the survey it really is very helpful; if you’d like to see the full results, you can access them here.

With best wishes,

Suzanne Rankin
Chief Executive


Chief Executive's Message

On a regular basis, our Chief Executive sends a message to staff about events at the hospitals, special achievements, and plans for the future.

We shall be adding them to this section as well as including them on our Twitter and Facebook pages.

From time to time, we shall ask other members of the Trust Board and clinical team to give their perspective on the week in our hospitals.