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Exceeding your expectations: the Blithering staff survey


Blog headlines

  • Virtual education sessions on spinal cord injury from Spinal Injuries Association
    2 July 2020

    This week Karen Mikalsen from the Spinal Injuries Association shares some information on their work and events for healthcare professionals.

  • Guest blog:Karen Chumley
    25 June 2020

    Thank you to Karen Chumley for a second blog –this time on the local use of an Electronic Palliative Care Coordination system during the Covid-19 pandemic. Karen is the Clinical Director and Deputy CEO at St Helena.

  • Link of the week
    19 June 2020

    This week's link of the week is article by Yasmin Khanagha published in Nursing Times – Why we need to open the conversation about racism.

  • Guest blog: Dr Karen Chumbley
    12 June 2020

    This week we have a guest blog submitted by Dr Karen Chumbley, clinical director and deputy chief executive at St Helena (https://www.sthelena.org.uk/)

  • Social care to become lifestyle brand
    16 April 2020

    Social care is to get a new brand identity as the government seeks to reverse the perception that it is the poor relation of the NHS.

  • Blithering Covid-19 bulletin plays vital role
    2 April 2020

    To fill a gap in the market for timely and relevant Covid-19 information, Martin Plackard, director of global crisis communications at NHS Blithering introduces his latest initiative to reach out to stakeholders during the outbreak.

  • Social distancing the Longstay way
    27 March 2020

    We asked Sir Trevor Longstay, chief executive of the NHS Blithering University Hospitals Foundation Trust and commander-in-chief of the Blithering Covid-19 Taskforce to give us some practical tips on social distancing. Here he shares some of the lessons learned over four decades of leadership – not all of them relevant or epidemiologically sound

  • Nothing left to shift: fears grow over NHS paradigm supply
    12 March 2020

    The government has issued a stark warning that stocks of paradigms and other basic supplies could soon run out if NHS managers continue panic-buying.

  • Matt Hancock’s diary – a week of levelling up
    27 February 2020

    Taking personal charge of global pandemics is one of the perks of this job. I’m referring to coronavirus, of course, and I’m booked to appear on Sky News to talk about it.

  • Exceeding your expectations: the Blithering staff survey
    20 February 2020

    Staff at NHS Blithering feel listened to “at least once a year” and report that their expectations of taking part in surveys have been “met” or “exceeded” in the past 12 months.

  • Martin Plackard’s week: Tuesday
    7 February 2020

    The second in our series of privileged insights to the working life of Martin Plackard, the NHS’s most gifted communicator

  • Martin Plackard’s week: Monday
    30 January 2020

    First in an occasional series of glimpses into a typical week in the life of Martin Plackard, the NHS's most influential strategic communicator

  • A quick guide to quick guides
    24 January 2020

    Few of us have time for long documents that take ages to read or a lot of expertise to put together. That’s where quick guides come in.

  • Towards people and impact
    17 January 2020

    This week the Royal Pharmaceutical Society advertised for a head of engagement and belonging. Such titles can be controversial – but not for Martin Plackard, whose CV features a number of leadership roles in the fields of impact, euphemism management and talent delivery.

  • National log-in reset will change everything
    9 January 2020

    This week the Department of Health and Social Care announced a £40m investment to make it easier to log-in to NHS computers. It’s a laudable aim, akin to fitting a keyless entry system to a Ford Anglia to make it go faster.

  • Martin Plackard’s top tips for making a difference in 2020
    3 January 2020

    NHS Blithering’s Martin Plackard MBE was recognised in the new year honours list for services to strategic communications and meaningful engagement. Here he gives his top tips for others who hope to make a very real difference to people, communities and their own career prospects in 2020.

  • My amazing Twitter year – by Matt Hancock
    20 December 2019

    It's been a fantastic year on social media for the secretary of state for health and the other thing. Here it is in very nearly his own words

  • Sustainability and transformation parties: mandatory guidance
    5 December 2019

    As Christmas fast approaches, system leaders are getting ready for so-called sustainability and transformation parties, the highlight of the year for those who enjoy kinky integration with strangers.

  • All the latest health policy news from the general **** campaign
    29 November 2019

    Because purdah is still in force, this week’s **** has been heavily redacted. Here are the main parties’ plans for government as set out in their manifestos. A full unexpurgated version can be obtained from **** Party HQ.

  • New outfit more splendidly integrated than ever
    21 November 2019

    The emperor has announced plans for yet another new outfit, amid claims that this one will be even more splendid than the last.

Thursday, 20 February 2020

Exceeding your expectations: the Blithering staff survey

Staff at NHS Blithering feel listened to “at least once a year” and report that their expectations of taking part in surveys have been “met” or “exceeded” in the past 12 months.

These are among the main conclusions of the 2019 NHS Blithering staff survey, which once again clearly demonstrates how:

  • A low baseline creates highly significant potential for improvements
  • Asking a very large number of questions invariably results in positive outcomes for press releases and ministerial statements
  • Surveys make the NHS a better and more statistically valid place to work.

The response rate soared from 12% in 2018 to a phenomenal 12.3% in the most recent survey, proving that the gap is closing between those who took part and those who couldn’t be bothered or were too busy applying for jobs elsewhere.

This year for the first time the results are presented as a series of themes and impressions, which replace less reliable statistical or factual indicators. For example you can compare your organisation’s performance against the upper, lower and median scores for a clearly communicated clean-desk policy, agreeable furniture, smartly turned-out managers, effective signage and healthy vending-machine options.

Unbelievably positive findings

Nearly all staff (0.8%) believe that the NHS People Plan will dramatically improve their working lives. There was no change in the number that questioned the existence of the plan (100%) and only a handful (94%) said it would make no difference.

Most people (77%) report that care of patients is their organisation’s top priority, which means that less than a quarter believe they work in a shop, factory or fast-food outlet.

An incredibly high 48% of staff said their organisation valued their work, leaving just over one in two who are undervalued, demoralised or counting down the days to retirement.

Only 22.1% thought the survey results were exaggerated or were not statistically significant. This compares favourably to 22.05% in 2015 and represents the best result in over 500 years.

Open-door policy

NHS Blithering has already taken the following steps to ensure that next year’s survey presents the organisation in the best possible light.

  • Sir Trevor Longstay is to extend his open-door policy for senior managers to junior grades. Reported incidents of bullying and harassment fell by 97% after Sir Trevor took personal charge of investigations
  • The Your Team staff newsletter is to feature a new regular Tell Your Compassion Story feature about the things you have done that really make a difference. Martin Plackard will kick it off in the March edition with a heart-warming blog about his best moments editing staff newsletters  
  • The contract for next year’s survey has been awarded to the Rummage Institute (formerly Ipsos Rummage).

For help with interpreting the data consult the technical appendix entitled What We Really Want You to Think the Results Mean. Alternatively contact the Blithering chief people officer (Linda in HR) with queries about the methodology and for an instant forecast of your career prospects.

Outliers editor: Julian Patterson


Lawrence Moulin
Lawrence Moulin says:
Feb 20, 2020 09:57 PM

Yet another great year for all at Blithering, who would have predicted that (except for Linda in HR who won the 'most creative use of a pocket calculator award 2020)?