Suffolk Mind visit Suffolk hospitals to tackle low morale

Neill Moloney, managing director and deputy chief executive at Ipswich Hospital. Picture: ANDY ABBOT

Neill Moloney, managing director and deputy chief executive at Ipswich Hospital. Picture: ANDY ABBOTT - Credit: Archant

A local NHS trust has invited mental health specialists into its hospitals in an attempt to tackle low morale in staff.

Ipswich Hospital, Heath Road.

Ipswich Hospital, Heath Road. - Credit: Archant

East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (ESNEFT), which operates Ipswich and Colchester hospitals, invited Suffolk Mind to liaise with staff following a “disappointing” NHS staff survey, which chief executive Nick Hulme labelled the trust’s “greatest disappointment”.

The survey, conducted last year, found that 41.5pc of staff say they had felt unwell due to work-based stress in the last year, with a further 59.5pc saying they had gone to work despite not feeling well enough to perform their duties.

As a result, the local mental health charity has been providing training to staff to highlight the importance of mental wellbeing in the workforce.

Jo Wood, ESNEFT assistant director of human resources praised the introduction of the scheme, saying: “The feedback has been excellent and we will continue training services for the remainder of this year.”

Despite the need for change, the trust added the poor results may be linked to its creation last year following the merger of Ipswich and Colchester hospitals.

A spokesman for the trust said in March: “The survey was carried out a very short time after the new Trust was created and in many ways reflects the uncertainty and change faced by many colleagues.

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“The survey gives us valuable insights into how staff are feeling and thinking. We clearly have much more to do.”

In response to the news, managing director Neill Moloney said: “There is a huge amount of work to do on this.

“There are specific areas we need to put extra resources in to.”

In addition to the collaboration with the charity, the trust has also started a staff magazine, as well as pledging to restart a yearly staff awards ceremony to recognise hard work across all levels of the trust.

Following the comments from board members, directors board chairman David White said staff were the “lifeblood” of the organisation, adding: “This is the number one issue for the organisation going forward.”

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