1493754875457 - Auckland DHB staff survey shows more than half feel rushed and undervalued

Auckland DHB staff survey shows more than half feel rushed and undervalued

A hospital is normally a place to get healthy, but many who work at Auckland District Health Board say their wellbeing is suffering because of their job.

In a survey of more than 5600 staff – 57 per cent of the DHB workforce – many respondents revealed they were feeling rushed and over-worked.

Forty per cent of staff said their health and wellbeing had suffered because of their work.

The same percentage said their health hadn’t suffered, while the rest remained neutral.

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In addition, 35 per cent of respondents said they did not have enough time to complete their work.

Fewer than half of those surveyed said they felt valued, appreciated or proud.

The full survey results were not publicly available but the DHB confirmed numbers and results from respondents.

Association of Salaried Medical Specialists executive director Ian Powell said the results were not surprising and not unique to Auckland hospitals.

“DHBs in relative terms have been underfunded by at least $1.5 billion since 2010 while demands on our public hospitals in particular have increased significantly due to factors such as a growing population, an ageing population and increased poverty leading to increased ill-health such as chronic illnesses in communities.”

He said this had placed considered pressure on an overstretched workforce.

A survey of hospital specialists revealed 50 per cent of respondents reported burnout, Powell said.

“It means, for example, that there is around a 50 per cent chance that a patient being operated [on] will have a burnt-out surgeon doing the operation, anaesthetist handling their pain management, and radiologist and pathologist providing the diagnosis needed by the surgeon.”

There were also a number of positive responses to the survey.

Three-quarters of respondents said they felt confident, 66 per cent felt involved, and 65 per cent felt motivated.

Seventy per cent of employees said they were happy with their job and 88 per cent said they would recommend the DHB as a place to be treated.

Auckland DHB chief human resources officer Fiona Michel said the survey showed high levels of engagement. 

“Teamwork, the foundation of safe care, is also strong in the DHB, with 84 per cent saying that their team works well together to provide a great service.

“Most people are happy to speak up if they notice an error. Our outstanding people remain our greatest asset, and we see each other as friendly, welcoming and helpful.”

This was the first survey of its kind in nearly 20 years, Michel said.

“We will be continuing to improve the areas that have been identified, as well as encouraging open communication with our people so we can work together to ensure Auckland DHB remains a desirable, and fulfilling place to work.”