There's been a mixed bag of results for Dorset County Hospital after staff were asked about what it's like to work there.

DCH scored well when it comes to supporting its staff and helping them in their careers.

The Dorchester hospital is in the top 20 per cent of all acute trusts for providing equal opportunities for career progression as well as recognition and value of staff and support from managers.

The annual NHS National Staff Survey collects views about what it is like working at DCH and the results are used to review and improve aspects of working lives for employees.

More than 1,300 staff took part, a response rate of 49 per cent which is above average for acute trusts in England.

It was ranked in the top 20 per cent of acute hospitals, or above average for more than half (17 out of 32) of the key findings.

Areas where DCH was ranked less well compared to the national average include the quality of non-mandatory training, staff confidence to report unsafe clinical practice, the percentage of staff reporting experiences of violence, percentage of staff reporting recent experiences of harassment, bullying or abuse, and effectiveness of procedures for reporting errors.

It is suggested that these areas might be seen as a starting point for local action to improve as an employer.

Some more highlights however included low levels of work-related stress and discrimination (with both results in the best 20 per cent of acute trusts); an increase in the number of annual appraisals being conducted and an increase in staff satisfaction with opportunities for flexible working patterns.

DCH also ranked better than average in areas including:

* Recommending the hospital as a place to work or receive treatment

* Staff satisfaction with level of responsibility and involvement

* Effective team working

* Effective use of patient/service user feedback

* Staff not feeling under pressure to come to work when ill

* Organisational and management interest in and action on health and wellbeing

Chief Executive of Dorset County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust Patricia Miller said: “I am pleased with the results overall and particularly heartened that staff feel supported by managers and view DCH as a place they can progress their career.

“The staff survey provides us with some hugely valuable feedback and we will now focus on areas where staff have told us we need to improve.”

The full survey results are available online at