A SIX-MONTH plan to improve patient safety and employee morale, health engagement at the county’s two main hospitals is being drawn up, after a staff survey placed the trust near the bottom.

The NHS staff survey, which was carried out between September and December, placed the trust – which runs Telford’s Princess Royal Hospital and the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital – 34th out of 38 acute trusts, and found a downward trend in four out of nine areas since 2017.

In a report before SaTH’s board, the trust’s organisational development team say they will use the results, CQC data and whistleblower feedback to improve performance, with a full delivery plan to follow in May.

OD team member Charlotte Banks writes that the 2018 survey grouped its findings into 10 theme areas, but one of these – “morale” – was not included in the previous year’s findings.

Of the remaining nine, “no themes have shown significant improvement since 2017”, Ms Banks writes.

“Five themes have shown no significant movements since 2017 and four have shown significant declines since 2017.”

Three of the 10 overall themes in the 2018 report are significanty worse than the sector and national average scores.

“These themes are: Health and wellbeing; Safety culture; Staff Engagement,” Ms Banks writes.

She adds that in “safety culture”, SaTH’s score was the worst nationally.

The trust received an average score in the categories of “Equality, diversity and inclusion; Quality of appraisals; Bullying and harassment; and Violence”.

More than 2,500, or 45 per cent, of SaTH staff returned the questionnaires. This was a two per cent rise on last year’s rate and one per cent higher than the national average.

In a separate document, also due to go before the SaTH board this week, Ms Banks and fellow OD team member Paula Dabbs write that the delivery plan has been drafted using data from the survey, the Care Quality Commission and information gathered under the “Freedom to Speak Up” programme.

“A series of staff focus groups have been undertaken to gain feedback over the detail of the plan,” they add.

“This plan will be monitored monthly through the Workforce Committee, with a full plan proposed for May 30, 2019.”

Workforce Director Victoria Rankin will present Ms Banks’s and Ms Dabbs’s reports to the SaTH Trust Board when it meets at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital on Thursday, April 4.