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Female genital mutilation

FORWARD is a leading African women-led not for profit organisation working on female genital mutilation, child marriage and other forms of violence against women and girls in the UK and Africa; It offers young people the chance to gain skills and help create change in their communities. FORWARD’s Young People Speak Out (YPSO) programme provides skills, training and support for young people (16 -25) and works with them to create projects, events and workshops in their local communities as a way to raise awareness about the practice and impact of FGM in the UK. The programme includes youth training, youth advocates, organizing public awareness events and projects, providing emotional support for victims of FGM, and raising FGM awareness by organising school events. FORWARD is not only giving young people a voice, it is creating a platform for lasting change through youth engagement and raining. If you would like to get more information about FORWARD, FGM, YPSO upcoming events, free training and opportunities as well as projects or to interview the team, please contact

Demoralisation widespread in the NHS? Seemingly not.

Results from the 2016 NHS Staff Survey, published on March 7th, portray a service striving to provide good patient care – with continued engagement from staff despite a pressured work environment. The 2016 NHS Staff Survey, co-ordinated by Picker, involved 316 NHS organisations in England. Over 982,000 NHS staff were invited to participate using an online or postal self-completion questionnaire and 423,000 did so, a response rate of 44%. Full-time and part-time staff who were directly employed by an NHS organisation on September 1st 2016 were eligible. Fieldwork for the survey was carried out between late September and early December 2016.

The acting CEO of Picker commented: “The results suggest staff continue to remain motivated with overall staff engagement continuing in an upward trend since 2012. Over half of all staff (59%) reported that they often or always look forward to going to work with 74% of staff feeling enthusiastic about their job. Furthermore the proportion of staff reported feeling unwell due to work related stress is at its lowest since 2012, down by 37%. Although work pressures still remain a concern, with nearly one in three (30%) feeling unable to meet all the conflicting demands on their time at work.  

Overall staff engagement has shown sustained improvement over the last five years, as has staff willingness to recommend their organisations as a place to work or receive care. These are very positive results and welcome good news for the NHS. Although there are a number of positive trends over the last five years, some results for 2016 remain concerning. Staff continue to work under significant pressure: 47% say that there are not enough colleagues at their organisation for them to do their job properly, and three in five (59%) reporting working unpaid overtime each week. Similarly, 60% of staff reported coming to work in the last three months despite feeling too unwell to fulfil their duties, and most of these staff (92%) said that they put themselves under pressure to come to work. Continued commitment from staff in spite of the pressures they face reflects their dedication to the health service”.

News from Nowhere notes the discrepancy between claims of widespread demoralisation in the NHS and Picker’s findings, and looks forward to reading explanations. The Health Service Journal suggested that the 2016 Staff Survey results matched up well with CQC inspection results. For example, of the bottom 10 acute trusts on staff recommending their Trust to a friend or family member, four are in special measures. Does this mean that demoralisation is localised rather than widespread?

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