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A third of Norfolk mental health trust staff report abuse in new survey

Nearly a third of the staff at the mental health trust serving West Norfolk have been abused in the last year, according to a new NHS staff survey.

The study of employees of the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) also showed around half do not look forward to going to work.

But figures from the 2020 poll also show scores improved in four out of 10 key areas, as a care chief admitted “more needs to be done”.

The Samphire Ward in Lynn.
The Samphire Ward in Lynn.

More than 2,000 NSFT staff took part in the annual questionnaire, answering questions about their work environment.

Almost 15 per cent said they had experienced harassment, bullying or abuse at work from managers in the past year, up from 12.9 per cent five years ago, while 32.2 per cent said they had received abuse from patients or other members of the public.

Just over 70 per cent of responders said they are enthusiastic about their jobs, but only 55 per cent look forward to going to work.

NSFT chief executive Jonathan Warren.
NSFT chief executive Jonathan Warren.

A third said they often think about leaving the organisation, while almost a quarter said they will probably look for a new job in the next 12 months.

Figures showed improvements in other areas, with 78.8 per cent saying NSFT acts fairly with regards to career progression, regardless of ethnic background, gender or religion, however, this is below the average of 86.6 per cent.

Managers showed an improvement in taking a positive interest in staff health and wellbeing, with 76.6 per cent agreeing or strongly agreeing – seven per cent more than last year.

Manager encouragement also rose, from 70.3 per cent in 2019 to 77.4 per cent in 2020.

NSFT chief executive Jonathan Warren said the survey showed improvements but accepted there was more work to be done.

He said: “Making sure our Trust is somewhere people want to work is one of our top priorities. We know that supportive, compassionate leadership is the key to supporting our staff to thrive.

“A new ‘Leading Confidently’ programme which is directly linked to our values of positively, respectively and together, will see more than 600 staff trained over the next 12 months.

“We are continuing to invest in staff wellbeing with a new emotional wellbeing hub being set up to compliment the psychological support programme we have put in place for our Black and Asian staff.

“We will also be focusing on creating a culture of mutual respect through our ‘Expect Respect’ campaign.”

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