REVEALED: Department of Health staff 'most unhappy in Whitehall'

Posted On: 
30th December 2016

Civil servants at the Department of Health are the unhappiest in Whitehall after morale plummeted in the past year, PoliticsHome has learned.

Department of Health staff have delivered a damning verdict on their workplace environment.
PA Images

A survey of government staff showed that only 24% of those working there would recommend it as a great place to work, compared to 44% a year ago.

Just 41% said they felt proud to tell others they worked in the department, down from 56% in 2016.

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And only 25% of Department of Health employees said they felt inspired to do the best in their job, compared to 40% last year.

Elsewhere, the department has the lowest score out of any in Whitehall for confidence in its leadership, and the inclusion and fair treatment of staff.

The shock findings, which were contained in the 2016 Civil Service People Survey, are a major blow to Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, who has come under fire for his stewardship of the NHS.

Shadow Health Secretary Jonathan Ashworth said: “We already know morale has plummeted amongst NHS staff under this government, and now we learn morale is at rock bottom in Jeremy Hunt's Department of Health too.

“It’s shocking that on every measure of staff satisfaction the Department of Health has gone down, and had the worst engagement of all departments in the survey.

“I have tremendous praise for civil servants, who I know work hard to deliver for the country. Sadly Theresa May has no interest in the NHS and is determined to continue the policy of underfunding. I can only therefore hope civil service morale doesn't worsen in 2017.”

A Department of Health spokesman said: "Whilst these are disappointing results, the survey coincided with a significant restructure and consequently an unsettling time for staff.

“Our priority now is to act swiftly on feedback and continue to engage with staff.”