Sunday, 3 February 2013

Life at Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust: Bullying, Stress...

A recent survey of staff in the Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust found a high level of dissatisfaction among mental health staff working for the Trust.

Staff complain of inadequate training in the vital areas of health and safety and equality and diversity.

The Trust is among the worst in the country for effective team working. 13% of staff have been bullied by a colleague, with 2% of respondents reporting being physically attacked by their co-workers.

In addition, many trained nurses are being forced to work 12-hour shifts. Staff report exhaustion and are frustrated because they are too overworked to provide a quality service.

Staff cannot expect their managers to support them. The Trust is among the worst 20% in the country both in terms of support from line managers and of effective action from the employer regarding bullying or harassment.

Staff reporting work related stress cannot depend on the organisation for assistance. Workers' intention to leave their jobs is at a very high level.

I am sure other workers are suffering in a similar way and want to feel they are not alone.

...and Pay-Cuts

An  article in the Mid Sussex Times on 1/2/13 provides another insight into the working lives of staff working for Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

Around 1,000 staff,including nurses,stand to lose £600 per year through the removal of the recruitment and retention premia agreed by the National Pay Review Body and implemented as part of the Agenda for Change agreement   in 2005.

The Trust has justified the cut by saying as they no longer have to give incentives to staff to recruit them, the payment is no longer needed. They also say loss of pay will protect patients and jobs.

The Trust Chief Executive, Lisa Rodrigues,says that costs must be managed with 'forensic precision'. It's unfortunate that Ms Rodrigues did not apply the same rigour when the premium was first introduced. Many nurses were told that their posts did not attract the payment, when in fact it was a contractual right.

As for the protection of patients,the Trust's own information show staff motivation at one of the lowest levels in the country. It's time for a democratic NHS that protects both service users and staff,and rejects the cuts to jobs and services fuelled by a privatisation agenda.

Sharon Mitchell, Brighton and Hove Socialist Party