Staff morale low at Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership

Staff morale at the Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership is among the lowest for a trust in England.

The results, part of the 2011 NHS staff survey , reveal the trust is in the lowest 20% in England in about half of the key areas.

Director of Nursing Hazel Watson said the trust's performance had been "very disappointing".

The information comes at a time when its chief executive is on extended leave and the chair has resigned.

Ms Watson said, although the trust was disappointed, it was not surprised at the results of the survey.

"It's been a difficult couple of years for the trust and we've been through an enormous period of change.

'Very unhappy'

"A number of staff have seen their jobs and team structures change and that's been very hard for people."

Unison rep Andy Cork, who works as a community and psychiatric nurse for the trust, said: "Staff had to be reinterviewed for their jobs - they were very unhappy with that - they didn't know what was happening.

"Because there was a significant redesign of services planned - which we agree was to provide a better service - the problem is that the front-line staff were not involved enough with the reorganisation and that's the communication bit."

The survey also revealed the trust was one of the best in England for having the lowest number of work-related injuries and physical assaults on staff.

It also showed staff felt most valued by their work colleagues and for being able were able to work flexibly.

Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Trust is a provider of specialist mental health services operating across Bath and North East Somerset, Bristol, North Somerset, South Gloucestershire, Swindon and Wiltshire.

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