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HSC staff feel they make a difference

Nine out of ten staff working in Health and Social Care (HSC) in Northern Ireland feel that their role makes a difference to patients.
Wednesday, 10 July 2013

The finding comes following a survey of staff working in Health and Social Care (HSC) organisations across Northern Ireland. Around 17,000 staff were asked a range of questions about their working lives, under three themes: The Resources to Deliver; Support to do a Good Job; and A Worthwhile Job and the Chance to Develop.

Almost 40% (6,798) of staff responded to the survey between 5 September 2012 and 26 October 2012.

Welcoming the results of the survey, Health Minister Edwin Poots said: “The findings of this survey demonstrate the high level of commitment and dedication of staff working in our HSC organisations. It has provided an extremely useful basis for comparison on how the views and experiences of the HSC workforce have changed over the last 2-3 years.

“By repeating the survey we can gauge the impact of policy changes and we can use this information to help improve working practices and conditions which can improve both the experience of HSC staff and the quality of care provided to patients.”

This is the second survey of this kind, the first having been undertaken in 2009 and conducted by the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety (DHSSPS).

As before the information will be used to continue to improve working practices and conditions and inform policy development.

Summary of findings:

  • 59% of staff felt that care of patients is the organisation’s top priority which was a significant increase from 51% in 2009.
  • 84% said that they were satisfied with the quality of care they deliver to patients;
  • When staff were asked about the contribution they made, 90% felt that their role made a difference to patients/clients/service users;
  • There was an increase, from 50% in 2009 to 56% in 2012, in staff stating that they would recommend their organisation as a place to work.

When asked whether they had experienced physical violence at work, either from patients or other service users in the past 12 months, 13% of staff said that they had, a decrease of 15% reported in 2009. A further 19% said they had experienced harassment, bullying or abuse from patients and service users in the past 12 months which was also down on 22% in 2009

78% of staff surveyed said that if they were concerned about negligence or wrongdoing by staff that they would know how to report their concerns which was around the same level as in 2009. However while in 2009 six out of 10 staff (60%) reported that there was a system to report wrongdoing by staff confidentially, in 2012 this figure had increased to seven in ten staff (70%).

The Minister concluded: “I would like to thank all staff across the HSC sector for their hard work and dedication, we are all very grateful for their commitment. My Department will continue to work with staff, organisations and trade union representatives to address the areas of concern highlighted in this survey.”

Notes to editors:

  1. The HSC Staff Survey took place from 5 September until 26th October 2012.
  2. All organisations in Health and Social Care in Northern Ireland were given the opportunity to participate in the survey. Around 15,673 staff received a paper questionnaire resulting in a 38.9% response rate. While 1297 staff employed in 8 of the smaller organisations received an on-line survey which generated an overall response rate of 49.9%.
  3. The organisations surveyed are as follows:
    Belfast HSC Trust (BHSCT)
    Northern HSC Trust (NHSCT)
    Western HSC Trust (WHSCT)
    Southern HSC Trust (SHSCT)
    South Eastern HSC Trust (SEHSCT)
    Northern Ireland Ambulance Service HSC Trust (NIAS)
    Business Services Organisation (BSO)
    HSC Board (HSCB)
    Patient and Client Council (PCC)
    Public Health Agency (PHA)
    Northern Ireland Blood Transfusion Service (BTS)
    Northern Ireland Practice and Education Council (NIPEC)
    Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA)
    Northern Ireland Medical and Dental Training Authority (NIMDTA)
    Northern Ireland Guardian Ad Litem Agency (NIGALA)
    Northern Ireland Social Care Council (NISCC)
  4. The complete survey and report can be found at
  5. For further information, please contact the DHSSPS Press Office on 028 9052 0505. Out of office hours please contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 07699 715 440 and your call will be returned.