The NHS Staff Survey is one of the largest workforce surveys in the world and has been conducted every year since 2003. It asks NHS staff in England about their experiences of working for their respective NHS organisations.
The results of the latest NHS Staff Survey bear witness to the sustained pressure on the NHS over the last year. Undertaken during the second wave of the pandemic, the results point to improvements in areas including health and wellbeing. But it highlights that there remains some way to go to improve staff experience – particularly among ethnic minority staff – as the service recovers from the acute phase of the pandemic. In particular, it highlights the need for a renewed focus on equality and further progress on bullying, harassment and violence.
The full results of the 2020 NHS Staff Survey are published on the NHS Staff Survey website below along with briefings from the NHS Staff Survey centre on overall themes, benchmarking reports and five-yearly trends.
You can also find a joint briefing with NHS Confederation on the Confed website.
- Despite the pressures of the pandemic, there have been improvements in a number of areas, including employer action on health and wellbeing, staff views on feeling equipped to do a job properly, opportunities for flexible working, and opinions on recommending the NHS as a place to work. The overall indicator on staff perception of quality of care remains stable. Staff also felt they were able to provide good quality care.
- Yet while the survey points to welcome improvements, challenges remain and will require concerted action in the year ahead. Staff from black and minority ethnic (BME) backgrounds continue to have more a negative experience of working in the NHS and have lower confidence in organisations providing equal opportunities. The toll of the pandemic has also seen a rise in work-related stress.
- A third of staff are considering leaving their jobs and nearly one in five are thinking of leaving the health service entirely.
- While there has been an increase in the number of staff agreeing that their organisation has enough staff for them to do their job properly, this is still less than two in five, and reinforces the need for a funded workforce plan to give staff hope that the vacancies in their teams will be filled longer term.
- Allowing NHS staff the time and space they need to decompress needs to be at the heart of recovery plans, and ongoing investment will be needed.