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Team spirit better than ever despite pandemic pressures

Posted: 11 March 2021

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A Hertfordshire hospital trust has scored better than average on a range of measures – including quality of care and happiness with management – in newly released national staff survey results.

Staff at West Hertfordshire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust gave a broadly positive view of working life, with 69.9% of those from Covid-19 wards and departments reporting satisfaction with support from managers – compared to 69.1% nationally.

Results for feeling valued by managers also pipped the national statistics with 71.9% of staff saying they feel valued by their immediate manager (higher than the national average of 71.8%).

Andrew McMenemy, the trust’s chief people officer, said: “Even in the darkest days of the pandemic, there was an enormous sense of teams pulling together. We are really pleased this has come through in our results. We continue to offer a wide range of additional support to our amazing staff because the strain of the pandemic remains a concern.”

Staff have access to a wide range of external and internal support services and new and improved facilities, including a newly refurbished wellbeing and pastoral support suite, funded by Raise – our trust charity. Webinars on stress management and mental health are also on offer and confidential phone support services and counselling are also promoted heavily.

Hospital redevelopment plans feature more rest areas for staff, thanks to money raised by NHS Charities Together.

In terms of how patient care was rated by staff, Mr McMenemy said: “We are delighted that as well as giving managers a thumbs up, our staff rated our patient care highly too. They have an excellent insight and so we were pleased that 73.3% ranked our care as ‘inspirational’ compared to a national average of 70%.”

The survey had the best response rate for five years, with 47% of staff taking part. This was higher than the national score of 45%.

Mr McMenemy said: “Completing the survey requires a bit of time and thought so it’s incredible that nearly half of our staff did theirs against a backdrop of a national health emergency.

“We want to be a great employer and so having the feedback of our staff plays a big part in improvements we make. I’d like to record my thanks to each and every colleague who took time out to complete the survey.”

Whilst many of the results provided a positive picture, there are still a few challenging areas which the trust is working on to make improvements such as around equality, diversity and discrimination. By working closely with their recently established staff networks, such as the BAME Connect, LGBT+ and Diversibility networks, the trust hopes to further understand what needs to be done to continue to improve in these areas.
Over the last year staff have praised the support from Watford Football Club, the local community and Raise – the trust’s charity. Staff who needed to shield have been particularly complimentary about measures intended to support them and keep them connected.

Summarising, Mr McMenemy said: “Our belief is that the best care comes from teams who are happy in their work. There is a great team spirit here which is growing stronger every year. However, we are not complacent and will continue to offer new ways to support our fantastic workforce, develop their careers and engage them in our decision-making.”


  1. For more information, please contact the communications team on: 01923 436280 or email: For out of hours media enquiries please call the Watford General Hospital switchboard on 01923 244366 and ask for the on call communications manager.
  2. West Hertfordshire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust serves people from across Hertfordshire, north London and further afield. It operates from three hospitals; Watford General, St Albans City and Hemel Hempstead. The trust has a catchment area of over 500,000 people and is one of the largest employers locally, with around 5,000 staff and volunteers.
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