Survey shows staff are happier than average at Great Western Hospital

Healthcare staff in Swindon have shown that a career in the NHS is a happy one, with more than three quarters saying they are enthusiastic about the work they do.

The claim, which trumps the national average by four per cent, was made by 77 per cent of staff at Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, who took part in the 2016 NHS Staff Survey.

An annual questionnaire used to gauge the feeling of NHS workers nationwide, the survey gives a rare insight into the working lives of healthcare staff.

Around 1,200 staff at the Swindon hospital were invited to take part, with more than 49 per cent returning the form, which outperforms the national response rate of 42 per cent.

The results, which have now been made public, also reveal that GWH staff look forward to coming to work more than their colleagues at other NHS organisations, with nearly two thirds (62 per cent) saying they do compared to just 58 per cent elsewhere.

Other areas where the Trust scored better than average include staff knowing how to report unsafe clinical practice (98 per cent), staff not feeling ill due to work-related stress (67 per cent) and having a culture of speaking up when things go wrong (90 per cent).

The results show that staff also feel safer at work than they did in 2015, with 97 per cent saying they have not experienced discrimination from patients and other members of the public compared to 94 per cent 12 months ago.

Oonagh Fitzgerald, Director of Human Resources, said: “We have more than 3,000 staff at the Great Western Hospital and several hundred more working in other locations around Swindon, so the NHS Staff Survey is invaluable to us for knowing how our people are feeling.

“This year’s results are particularly encouraging and I’ve been delighted to know that, like myself, so many of our teams enjoy coming to work and making a difference to the lives of local people.

“It shows that despite all the challenges, the real heroes of the NHS are just as driven in their roles to make people better as they always have been and that’s an incredibly powerful reflection of the amazing people we have.

“Of course, the results have highlighted some areas where we need to make improvements, such as our staffing levels, so we’ll be stepping up our current recruitment efforts while also exploring other ways of bringing new people to the organisation.”

The survey showed that a quarter (26 per cent) of staff said there were enough staff in the Trust for them to be able to carry out their job properly, which is slightly lower than the national average of 31 per cent.

Bringing in more permanent staff remains a key priority and the next 12 months will see the Trust continue recruiting overseas and, closer to home, launch a high profile campaign to highlight the diverse range of job opportunities available locally.

NHS staff are asked to take part in the survey once a year, with their feedback being used to improve working conditions and shape future plans for maintaining high quality patient care.

Full results from the 2016 survey can be read online at