Steps to implement the staff survey in 2014

SAVE ITEM
Steven Weeks

01 / 9 / 2014 9.41am

The arrangements for the NHS staff survey 2014 have now been published on the NHS staff survey website, and NHS organisations need to be aware of the steps they need to take to implement the survey.


The survey has been kept largely unchanged in order to preserve comparability, but there are a number of new question areas which trusts should be aware of.

Question changes

The main change is the introduction of a new question 13, which seeks information on whether organisations provide information to staff based on feedback from patients. This aims to highlight the work that has been undertaken to make better use of patient feedback since the Francis report. This question has not been asked before and will therefore provide baseline data.

The wording on question 19 around raising concerns, sometimes called the ‘whistleblowing question’, has also been altered. The question now focusses specifically on concerns over unsafe clinical practice. It was thought the previous question was too broad in scope and that a more clinically focussed question would produce more useful data. The new question will not be directly comparable with past data. It will provide a more accurate assessment of the confidence of staff to raise concerns on standards of care and enable comparison between organisations. 

Using the staff survey in the place of the Staff Friends and Family Test (FFT)

Organisations can now use the staff survey in place of the Staff FFT in quarter three. The staff survey question on recommendation of the service, may be used for reporting purposes.

Staff survey data is primarily a resource for organisations to use at a local level to inform their local workforce policies. It’s also an indicator of staff opinion on a range of issues, including quality of care, and is increasingly being used by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and others to inform their assessments. The survey should no longer be seen as an issue just for HR. 

Best practice

Experience shows that organisations most successful in the staff survey, are those where staff can see tangible results from participation. If organisations haven’t already done so, it’s strongly recommended they highlight how they used the data from the 2013 survey. Many organisations produce newsletters which do this under the heading ‘you said, we responded’. Even where it’s not possible to act on an issue, it’s better to make this clear. Staff side support for the survey can also be helpful and is supported at a national level. Staff may also want reassurance on confidentiality and this is explained in the staff survey guidance on the staff survey website.

Advice on the implementation of the survey and technical issues is provided by your survey provider and the staff survey coordination centre.

Key role to play

Although it’s a major administrative challenge, the staff survey has a key role to play. It provides comparative data on key issues across the NHS and supports organisations to track trends and tackle issues at local level. It’s also used by the CQC as a key data source. It will enable organisations to demonstrate the progress they are making on staff engagement and tackling the issues raised by the Francis report.


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