NHS hospital and mental health staff are more satisfied with their workplace than ever, the Health Secretary Andrew Lansley has claimed.

He reckoned that the latest annual NHS Staff survey showed that improvements had been made in some key areas and levels of job satisfaction and staff engagement remained high. However, at the same time too many trusts still had less favourable levels of recommendation to ‘family and friends’.

The most improved trusts for standard of care included Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust and Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust, which have both seen increases in satisfaction of over 10 percent.

The best performers included Liverpool Heart and Chest NHS Foundation Trust, Queen Victoria Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Clatterbridge Centre for Oncology NHS Foundation Trust and Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, which all scored most highly on standard of care, staff motivation and feeling valued by colleagues.

Overall, results were the same or better in 25 out of 38 key measures, including reduced incidents of bullying, harassment and violence experienced by staff and improved staff appraisals. Hospital trusts scored higher, with 30 out of 38 key measures the same or better.

The figures also show a big improvement in the number of staff having appraisals and the levels of staff motivation across the NHS.

“This survey shows that NHS staff remain committed to providing the highest quality of care to their patients,” Lansley said. “The number of staff happy with the standard of care remains stable, with some foundation trusts performing to a very high standard.”

However, he added: “Too many trusts continue to have less favourable levels of recommendation to ‘family and friends’. The NHS should use this as a basis for seeing improvement in the services we deliver for patients in the future.”