Barts Health fights to beat the bullies

The improved Barts Health
Promising action: Alwen Williams has pledged to combat bullying within her trust after the results of the survey were released last week

Barts Health was the most improved of 175 NHS organisations at the end of last year but has an ongoing problem with bullying – according to a nationwide survey of staff.

The annual report shows that more Barts Health employees are satisfied with the quality of care they provide to patients compared to the average across the country.

“I am thrilled that staff are realising and benefiting from the many improvements achieved across the trust, which are testament to their hard work and commitment,” said chief executive Alwen Williams, who took over at the helm in October 2015 with the organisation in special financial measures.

“Knowing that staff satisfaction is necessary to quality patient care, and as nurses are often those closest to our patients, I am particularly pleased that nurses make up the largest majority of those who responded to the survey.”

Results from the poll, managed by Picker Institute Europe (PIE) and run between September and December 2016, show a marked improvement in the trust’s previous year’s scores, with gains in 27 of the 33 areas surveyed. PIE reported that Barts’ score did not decrease in any of the six remaining categories.

However, the trust – which treats an estimated 2.5million patients a year – once again scored above the national average for the number of staff experiencing bullying, harassment or abuse within the previous 12 months. “Abuse is not acceptable and we are doubling our efforts to drive it from our trust,” Alwen added in response to the only major blot on the study.