Employee engagement, sickness absence and agency spend in NHS trusts 

Dawson, J. & West,  M. | NHS England | March 2018 | Employee engagement, sickness absence and agency spend in NHS trusts 

The Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES) team at NHS England commissioned a report to examine the ‘real world’ relationship between staff engagement, sickness absence and reliance upon temporary staffing in NHS trusts.


The team had the hypothesis that where: employee engagement is lower, there will be a higher level of sickness absence among staff, and this will necessitate a higher level of spend on agency (and bank) staff.  They analysed data from three sources: NHS Staff Survey (employee engagement), NHS Digital (sickness absence), and NHS Improvement (agency and bank staff spend).

The report has now been published and finds clear associations between employee engagement and sickness absence; as well as between employee engagement and agency staff spend (whether or not spend on bank staff was included within this).

It concludes there is clear evidence that trusts with higher engagement levels have lower levels of sickness absence and have lower spend on agency and bank staff.

Simon Stevens, Chief Executive of NHS England said: “that staff engagement is not only good for employees’ health but reduces trusts’ cost and reliance on agency staffing. So doing the ‘right thing’ also helps trusts with their budget pressures. As such, this report offers important practical lessons for the whole NHS.”

The full report can be downloaded from NHS England


How is the NHS performing? March 2018 quarterly monitoring report

The King’s Fund| March 2018 | How is the NHS performing? March 2018 quarterly monitoring report 

The King’s Fund has released its quarterly monitoring report (QMR) of NHS performance. Its analysis finds increased numbers of patients are facing long waits for hospital treatment, with those experiencing the longest delay often most in need of treatment. As demand for services is continuing to rise, the think tank finds it unlikely that meeting waiting time targets will become more achievable, with implications for how the NHS protects patients waiting the longest (The King’s Fund).

Since the last QMR there has been a Budget, new planning guidance for 2018/19 and most (but not all) of winter.  The King’s Fund considers the impact of these factors together with their latest survey data sources to discuss the current position and forecast for finance and performance.

The report focuses on four key areas:

  • Finance
  • Perforamce
  • Waiting times: making the sickest wait longest
  • Looking to the future

It is available at the King’s Fund 

NHS workforce race equality: a case for diverse boards

This resource is targeted at NHS boards, especially the chairs of NHS boards. It  recognises the important role chairs play in shaping the way members interact, behave, and set priorities – in short, how they establish the culture of a board.

The guide is not about how boards become more ‘representative’. Instead, it is about how a board uses the talents of everyone who sits round the table. It is about how boards capitalise on their diversity.

Full document: NHS workforce race equality: a case for diverse boards


Improving the experiences of people who use services

This briefing looks at what the vanguards have been doing to improve the way people experience and interact with health and care services, and shares the lessons that other organisations and partnerships can take from the vanguards’ experiences | NHS Providers


This final briefing in the Learning from the new care models series highlights how the vanguards are improving the experiences of people using services and their families.

The briefing looks at the work of the vanguards in the following areas:

  • Coordinating care around peoples’ needs
  • Ensuring people receive high-quality care wherever they are
  • Specialist care closer to home
  • Reducing the need to travel
  • Directing people to the right care, faster
  • Supporting people to manage long-term conditions
  • Supporting people to develop self-confidence
  • Tailoring care for people with the greatest needs
  • Making access to urgent care as simple as possible
  • Promoting health and wellbeing among people and communities
  • Helping people connect
  • Supporting carers to stay well
  • Working with people to design services that work for them

Full briefing:
Learning from the vanguards: improving the experiences of people who use services


NHS Workforce Statistics November 2017, Provisional Statistics

NHS Digital | NHS Workforce Statistics November 2017, Provisional Statistics

The latest NHS Workforce Statistics have been published. The data is available as headcount and full-time equivalents (FTE) for NHS Hospital and Community Health Service (HCHS) staff groups working in Trusts and CCGs in England; it excludes primary care staff.

business-2089530_1920Key Facts

In November 2017:

  • The headcount was  a little over 1.2 million  in November 2017. This is 2,268 (0.2 per cent) more than the previous month (1,200,538) and a 1.6 per cent more than in November 2016.
  • The FTE total was 1,061,902 in November 2017. This is 1,917 (0.2 per cent) more than the previous month (1,059,985) and 17,427 (1.7 per cent) more than in November 2016 (1,044,475).
  • Professionally qualified staff make up over half (54.2 per cent) of the HCHS workforce (based on FTE).

The data can be read here 

More details and further resources are available at NHS Digital 


Delayed Transfers of Care

This publication from December 2017 covers the issue of Delayed Transfers of Care.  Done properly, not only are health and personal outcomes improved, but net savings for the system may also be generated. | Better Care Support Programme

Preventing delays to patients being transferred from hospital settings is achievable. Patients waiting in hospital beds for discharge to an appropriate setting is a symptom of systems not working – and can be tackled rather than accepted.

Image source: basw.co.uk

The challenge set for this piece of work was to ‘do something different’. So a new approach was designed by Newton and three areas in the North of England, resourced by regional Better Care Fund support monies.

The project team took a meticulous approach to gathering and analysing the data in order to provide an accurate and timely evidence base on what was really happening. This was then used to begin driving changes in behaviours, decision making and leadership.


When reflecting on all the evidence across the entire project, four leading headlines emerged as being critical to making a positive impact on DToC: achieving a shared understanding; exhibiting the right behaviours; appropriate decision-making and the role of leadership.

Full document: Why not home? Why not today?


Consultation seeks views on the impact of data sharing between NHS Digital and the Home Office: call for evidence

This consultation seeks views on the impact of data-sharing arrangements under the memorandum of understanding on the health and health care-seeking behaviour of migrants. This consultation closes on 30 March 2018.

feedback-2044700_1920Evidence can be:

  • peer-reviewed publications
  • narrative accounts
  • case studies
  • more formal analyses using qualitative, quantitative or mixed methods

Submissions can be sent to data-sharingreview@phe.gov.uk

Further details of PHE’s call for evidence can be read here