One-third of NHS staff would not want relatives treated in their hospitals: survey

More than a third of respondents in a survey of Britain's National Health Service (NHS) employees, said they would be unhappy to have their relatives or friends treated in the hospitals they work in, reflecting their low morale. Nearly a half would not recommend their trust as a place to work.

The survey by Care Quality Commission (CQC), the independent regulator for health and adult social care in England, also reveals that eight per cent of the National Health Service (NHS) staff overall reported experiencing physical violence from patients, relatives or other members of the public.

About 15 per cent said they had been subjected to bullying, harassment and even abuse. The figures on violence were higher for front-line staff (12 per cent), particularly workers in ambulance trusts (18 per cent) and mental health trusts (15 per cent).

Bullying, harassment and abuse from patients and relatives were also more prevalent among front-line staff (18 per cent) and much worse for ambulance workers (27 per cent). Fifteen per cent of all staff had experienced bullying, harassment and abuse from their line manager or other colleagues.

The CQC published the results of its eighth annual survey, organised to elicit the views of the NHS staff across England. Almost 165,000 employees at the country's 388 trusts took part in the survey, which was carried out during the final quarter of last year. Only 54 per cent of those who were asked to participate, responded to the survey, compared with 55 per cent in 2009.

The survey covered all occupational groups, from doctors and nurses to clerical workers, and from radiographers to clinical psychologists.

''This is an important survey because it provides a snapshot of how those who work within the NHS feel about what they do and the experiences they have at work,'' said Cynthia Bower, CQC's chief executive. ''I know that the vast majority of NHS employees are personally committed and motivated to do the best work they possibly can. The survey results will help trusts to pinpoint what else they can do to support and develop staff to ensure they can provide the best care for patients.''

Britain's NHS has been facing a lot of challenges in recent years, mainly on account of lack of funding. Many patients have to wait for weeks for ordinary procedures, and a few are forced to look to countries such as India, where medical tourism is growing.