127,915 members

Skip to content. | Skip to navigation


360 degrees of spin

Thursday, 16 March 2017

360 degrees of spin

The results of the NHS Blithering annual staff survey are in. Martin Plackard, director of stakeholder nurturement and realtime feedback has written to staff to present the findings.

Dear colleague

As you know, every year we send out a questionnaire seeking your views on the state of NHS Blithering. The results tell you how well we’re doing and how positive you should feel.

This year, as usual, the survey shows we are doing brilliantly despite a lot of pressures and demands, none of which are our fault.

So by way of a “thank you” to staff for helping us to show how fabulously it’s all going, here is a summary of the key findings.

Great care for all

Overall we saw a four-fold improvement on last year after seasonally adjusting the baseline to the sector average for an organisation of comparable demographics and applying the deflator.

More than two-thirds of you (11%) would be happy to recommend the care provided by your organisation to a friend or member of your family. Only a tiny minority (89%) said they would be “deeply worried” or that they “wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy”.

Thumbs-up for senior management

How well do senior managers engage with staff? Do they clearly communicate the mission and purpose of the organisation? Do staff know the names of the people in charge? Does the board promote a compassionate and open culture? Do managers listen to the views of staff? Does anyone check the extravagant claims on directors’ CVs before appointing them?

Most respondents (87%) agreed that senior managers either already do or should aim to do one or more of these things at some point in the not-too-distant future. A further 45% thought senior managers did a very difficult job or should occasionally try to do one.

The survey provides a ringing endorsement of Blithering’s leadership. There was unanimous agreement with the statement “I have complete confidence in our leaders” once the results had been adjusted to discount the views of non-board members.  

Results you can trust

Asked how they feel about the positive gloss put on the staff survey every year, almost everyone (2%) said they found it “not at all” or “just a bit” patronising. A statistically insignificant minority (98%) responded “pull the other one” or “I wasn’t born yesterday”, indicating mild disagreement.

As in previous years, the survey was conducted by a reputable and completely independent polling company to avoid accusations of bias. The full results can be found on the Ipsos Rummage website.  

Telling you what you want to hear

We work closely with the experts at Ipsos Rummage to ensure that the survey tells you exactly what we want you to hear, however uncomfortably that may sit with the data.

Unfortunately, while we always publish a summary of the results together with detailed explanatory notes for journalists, the press cannot always be relied upon to report the survey accurately.

References in certain corners of the press to “blatant spin” are a gross misrepresentation of our robust, evidence-like 360 degree process.

Much progress, some way still to go

Don’t let the fake news printed by the Argus and others cloud your judgement. Here are the hard facts.

For the seventh year in succession, Blithering has:

  • Demonstrated very significant progress
  • Identified that it still has some way to go
  • Made very real and tangible pledges to improvement (the Blithering Charter)
  • Renewed Ipsos Rummage’s contract for a further 12 months.

Not a tick-box exercise

I’ll leave you with one more inspirational finding from this year, which is that staff are more positive than ever about the future.

Asked: “Are you more positive than ever about the future?” all respondents (110%) replied “yes”. Tellingly, no one ticked the alternative response: “I wish to take unpaid leave to deal with my negative and unhelpful attitudes”.

That says more about the spirit of Blithering staff than I ever could.

Yours faithfully


Editor: Julian Patterson


Andrew Rix
Andrew Rix says:
Mar 17, 2017 05:38 AM

Staff survey

As a qualified market researcher (fruit and veg division) I was pleased that you had picked up on the Cuba effect. This is best described as the tendency for one party states to rely on the turnout, rather than the actual result, to justify their, usually unpublished, manifesto for action.

It is a reasonable statistical assumption that where ‘All Respondents’ is = to or > than the number of those registered to vote, a small number of people are so enamoured of the regime and all its policies that the have gone to great lengths to vote for it more than once. While this behaviour is clearly illegal, it is also a form of plebiscitary flattery, which, along with other acts of appreciation, such as the payment of ‘extras’ into Swiss bank accounts, has helped to preserve our longest running form of government.

Churchill is alleged to have remarked after his defeat in the post-war election ‘ungrateful buggers; there's got to be a better system than this ... despotism may have its problems but it's the future' - thereby predicting Trump’s 2017 accession to the presidency of the USofA only a few weeks after his birth in 1946.

Your excellent report on the staff survey is further proof that democracy and participation are but short-lived fads and what employees want is a return to the world where people know their place, believe what they are told and vote as often as possible for more of the same.

Anonymous says:
Mar 17, 2017 07:54 AM

Thanks Julian, one of your best yet.

Harry Longman
Harry Longman says:
Mar 17, 2017 08:45 AM

The @jtweeterson oeuvre continues. Long may it endure after all the output of all the NHS organisations in the universe has returned to intergalactic dust.

Mark Lainchbury
Mark Lainchbury says:
Mar 17, 2017 10:18 AM

Very Very Funny