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Our staff survey results: making the difference in 2023

A message from UHL chief executive, Richard Mitchell
The UHL Promise: Recognised, Included, Supported, Equipped
The UHL Promise: Recognised, Included, Supported, Equipped

Thanks to the many colleagues who took the time to complete the 2022 staff survey, we achieved our highest ever response rate and bettered the national average for the first time. 

Over 1,900 anonymous free text comments were submitted, which we have read and are now theming. The high response rate is important, as it means our plans are increasingly shaped by the experience of colleagues. The summary headlines are:

  • Our overall survey response rate was 48% - this is 15% higher than two years ago and 4% above this year’s national average.
  • 55% of colleagues would recommend UHL as a place of work. This is the same as 2021. Nationally, this score has dropped by 2%. 
  • 58% would be happy with the standard of care provided to a friend or loved one. This deteriorated 5% compared to the previous year, both at UHL and nationally. 
  • We significantly improved in 27 of the 92 survey areas this year. The year before we improved in only one. 17 survey areas have improved nationally. UHL has deteriorated in ten areas this year, while nationally 46 have deteriorated. 

Clearly, we have achieved some important improvements in the last year – these include teamwork, appraisals, career development and colleagues feeling they have better work-life balance. However, I am far from happy with these results. We remain below the national average for recommending UHL as a place to work and a place to receive care. The decline in the standard of care metric may be unsurprising given the operational challenges we face, but I am still disappointed.

In the last year, we have not made as much progress as I hoped we would. Clearly your experience of working at UHL has not changed sufficiently, and we need to improve the day-to-day experience of a greater range of people and teams.

We remain convinced that a relentless focus on wellbeing for all colleagues will make UHL a better provider of care. That is why we are focusing on the areas you have told us will make the biggest difference in 2023. 

Last year’s 13 priorities become four this year. Underpinning them is our commitment to build a more inclusive culture which creates equal access and opportunities and removes discrimination and intolerance. We all have a responsibility for upholding this kind of culture, but the Board and Executive Team create the conditions. As the Chief Executive, I take personal ownership of this. 

Our promise for 2023 is we will work together to make UHL a place where more people feel:

  • Recognised: Whether it is long service or extra effort, we will radically improve how we recognise and value all colleagues. 
  • Included: We should all be able to contribute equally. We will celebrate diversity, challenge poor behaviour, and strengthen our mechanisms for reporting concerns.
  • Supported: Flexible working, better recruitment and retention, and consideration of health and wellbeing are what matter most to our colleagues. 
  • Equipped: We have not got this right yet. From ward equipment and communal areas, to IT, parking, and payroll - we will focus on getting the basics right. We need to make it easier for people to do their job well. 

I know some will think ‘that sounds ok, but how will things actually change?’ I recognise this. This year we will set out far more clearly what we are doing and update on progress regularly.

Our new UHL promise video page is part of this. It will set out practical actions we are taking. We will be adding to this on a regular basis, sharing the changes as they happen. 

I am incredibly proud to work with the colleagues at UHL. I said last year that every voice matters - and I am confident we are increasingly taking action based on what matters most to the people who work across our Trust. 

Richard Mitchell

Chief Executive Officer