Publish date: 30 March 2022

Northumbria Healthcare maintains top performance in national NHS staff survey

A portrait of Sir James Mackey

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust has been rated the best acute and combined acute and community trust in the country based on the experience of its staff.

The impressive NHS Staff Survey results published today (Wednesday, March 30) show that staff morale at Northumbria Healthcare is the highest of any NHS trust in the country.

In addition, 93% of Northumbria Healthcare staff feel that their role makes a difference to patients/service users, 89% agreed that the care of patients/service users is the trust’s top priority and 92% said the organisation acts fairly with regard to career progression/promotion regardless of ethnic background, gender, religion, sexual orientation, disability or age.

These responses and those to the dozens of other questions provided by the sample of randomly selected staff saw Northumbria Healthcare come out on top in the acute and combined acute and community trust category, based on the survey carried out in late 2021.

Its response rate of 80% was the highest in the country in its category, with the results showing that Northumbria Healthcare has the lowest proportion of staff considering leaving or looking for jobs elsewhere and the highest who would recommend the trust as a place to work.

The annual survey, completed by all NHS trusts in England, focuses on nine themes and provides a detailed insight into how staff feel about culture, their wellbeing, levels of engagement and motivation, equality, diversity and inclusion, safety and quality of care.

For the 2021 edition, the survey was updated to align with the NHS People Promise, which aims to reflect what matters most to staff and what would make the greatest difference in improving their experience in the workplace.

Across the nine main themes in the new survey, Northumbria Healthcare has the highest scores in its category nationally in five – ‘We are compassionate and inclusive’; ‘We each have a voice that counts’; ‘We are safe and healthy’; staff engagement; morale.

In three other themes, its overall scores (out of 10) were also 0.1 off the highest nationally – ‘We are recognised and rewarded’; ‘We are always learning’; ‘We are a team’. In the final theme – ‘We work flexibly’, the trust’s score was still above the national average.

Chief executive, Sir James Mackey, said: “I am absolutely delighted that once again our staff survey results reveal such a level of support from our own people for the trust and what we do.

“This is even more pleasing as we know just how hard everyone has worked during a relentless two years of the Covid-19 pandemic. Given this ongoing pressure, it is no surprise that our staff engagement and morale scores are slightly down on the previous year, while remaining among the best in the country.

“Staff experience is incredibly important to us and we constantly listen to what our staff are saying and feeling so that we can make improvements where necessary. We are focused on being a great place to work as we want to recruit and retain the best people in our bid to continually provide outstanding care for our communities.

“There is a wide range of evidence that highlights how good staff and patient experience go hand in hand, which is why making sure our staff are happy and supported is so crucial. We know there is always room for improvement and we will continue to work with our teams to improve our offer to ensure we support staff wellbeing as best we can.

“I would like to repeat my thanks to all of our staff and assure them that we are well aware that they are the most important factor in delivering the high-quality care that we provide to our patients.”

You can find out more about working for Northumbria Healthcare at see our current vacancies at

Earlier this month, the UK list in Newsweek’s World’s Best Hospitals 2022 featured three of the trust’s hospitals in the top 80. Hexham General Hospital was 21st, followed by the Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital in 57th and North Tyneside General Hospital in 77th.

Media contact

Ben O’Connell, media and communications officer, Northumbria Healthcare

Benjamin.O’Connell@northumbria-healthcare.nhs.ukor 07833 046680.