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Staff confidence in DH leadership plummets

Confidence in the Department of Health's leadership among its own staff has nosedived since the coalition took power, a new survey reveals.

The latest DH staff survey reveals that dwindling numbers of staff believe the department does a ‘good job' in improving the country's health, with only a third recommending it as ‘a great place to work'.

The poll, carried out in October 2011, reveals staff engagement has fallen since 2010, and shows a significant drop in several engagement indicators compared to 2009 when Labour ministers were in charge.

Only a third of DH staff feel the department is managed well, down 6% from last year and a 13% fall from 2009, while only a third have confidence in the decisions made by the department's senior civil servants, down 3% from last year and an 11% drop from 2009 levels.

The number of staff who feel changes by the DH ‘are usually for the better' has more than halved since the coalition took power, with only 12% of employees agreeing, compared with 14% last year and 25% in 2009.

Less than two-thirds of DH staff (62%) now feel the department does a ‘good job' in improving England's health, down 10% from last year and a 21% drop from 2009.

In a further sign of falling staff morale, around a third of staff said they would recommend the DH as a ‘great place to work', down 8% from last year and a 15% fall from 2009. Less than half of all staff, 47%, now say they are ‘proud' to say they work at the DH, a drop of 3% from last year and down from 58% in 2009.

The results also suggest mounting confusion among staff on the DH's strategic vision, with the number of respondents saying that they had a clear understanding of the department's purpose, and objectives, falling by 14% and 15% respectively from last year.

But the number of staff who said they wanted to stay working for the DH for at least the next year rose by 6% from last year, and the number who wanted to quit immediately dropped by 2%.

Attitude towards line managers was also more positive, with more than three quarters of staff saying they had confidence in their supervisor.

A DH spokesperson said: ‘Staff satisfaction has remained broadly level in a year of change. Areas of improvement included how interested and challenged staff were in their jobs. We will be taking action based on the survey findings and hope to make improvements this year.'

Read the full results here

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