Staff satisfaction predicts patient satisfaction

Staff satisfaction and commitment predicted patient satisfaction, Prof. Michael West, The King’s Fund, London & Lancaster University, told the HSE Masterclass. Maureen Browne reports.

Staff satisfaction and commitment predicted patient satisfaction and patient satisfaction was highest where staff had clear goals, according to major UK surveys, Prof. Michael West, The King’s Fund, London & Lancaster University, told the HSE Masterclass.

He said NHS staff surveys which had been running each year since 2004 showed that staff views of leaders were linked to patients ‘views of care quality and staff satisfaction/commitment predicted patient satisfaction.

Five per cent more staff working in real teams was associated with 3.3% drop in mortality rate.

There were over 350 organizations with 1.4 million employees in all sectors surveyed each year, with a response rate of 55% – 60%.

They surveys were linked to patient satisfaction surveys, mortality data, infection rates, quality of care, financial performance, absenteeism and turnover.

Prof. West said that the surveys revealed high work pressure, with patients reporting too few nurses, insufficient support, privacy and respect.

They also showed poor staff health and well‐being, with high injury rates, but good HRM practices and low and decreasing levels of patient mortality.

Where patient mortality was concerned, 5% more staff working in real teams was associated with 3.3% drop in mortality rate (p =.006). For an “average” acute hospital, this represented around 40 deaths per year. It also meant that 25% more staff working in real teams across England would be associated with 30,000 fewer deaths per year if this was a direct causal association.