How do people working for the NHS feel about it?

Mixed results from the Department of Health's annual survey of staff Photo: REUTERS/Toby Melville

Looks like the Health Bill will end two years of rows, splits and controversy this afternoon in the House of Commons.

Lots of health unions (like the British Medical Association) and medical royal colleges are implacably opposed but know they are going to have to live with it.

But the strength of feeling among their members about the Bill is difficult to gauge. Turn-out in their internal polls has generally been low - around 20%.

Today though, there is a tantalising insight into how people in the NHS feel about working for Britain's biggest employer.

130,000 members of staff took part in the survey Credit: REUTERS/Nigel Roddis

That is in the shape of the Department of Health's annual survey of staff - over 130,000 of them took part:

  • 87% said they feel satisfied with the quality of care they provide to patients
  • 90% feel their role makes a difference

Sounds good for the NHS. But read on:

  • 61% said they could do their job to a standard they are personally pleased with
  • 30% said there are enough staff in their organisation for them to do their job properly
  • 15% report that they experienced bullying, harassment and abuse from patients, their relatives or other members of the public
  • 51% would recommend their trust as a place to work (down from 55% in 2009)
  • 32% were satisfied with the extent to which they felt valued by their trust

In response to these figures Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said:

The number of staff happy with the standard of care remains stable, with some foundation trusts performing to a very high standard.

Too many trusts continue to have less favourable levels of recommendation to 'family and friends'. The NHS should use this as a basis for seeing improvement in the services we deliver for patients in the future."

NHS doctors and nurses have coped with almost continual reorganisation. Let's hope they can survive this reshuffle with the same equanimity.

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