The NHS Staff Survey

Patient and therapist

The NHS Staff Survey is the largest survey of staff opinion in the UK and may be the largest in the world. 

Each year NHS Staff are offered the opportunity to give their views on their experience at work. The questions are grouped around the key areas highlighted in the NHS Staff Pledges and include:

  • appraisal and development
  • health and wellbeing
  • staff engagement and involvement 
  • raising concerns.

It uses a method of assessing overall NHS performance on people management to enable organisations to understand and compare their own performance. In addition it includes the Care Quality Commission (CQC) which look at the NHS in terms of delivery of patient care. 

The staff engagement element of the survey looks at the three dimensions of engagement: 

  • the levels of motivation/satisfaction
  • involvement 
  • willingness to be an advocate for the service. 

It takes the scores across all three of these dimensions and converts them into an overall staff engagement score, which is an index of staff engagement in the organisation. Staff engagement is the only area for which the survey does this. It is designed to assist in tracking staff engagement within the service and enable comparison between organisations, with the aim of supporting engagement. 

The NHS has traditionally scored highly on levels of motivation and satisfaction but with variable levels of involvement and advocacy. Overall scores have improved in the NHS in recent years. The survey shows that the NHS compares well with other organisations in the economy and with the civil service and local authorities though the wide range of performance is an ongoing concern and there is scope for improvement.

Nurse and ipad

NHS Staff Survey 2015

The NHS Staff Survey results have been published and show progress in many areas, read our highlights.

tick boxes

Making the best use of your Staff Survey data - a quick guide

The NHS Staff Survey provides a wealth of data for organisations. When this data is used effectively it can help trusts shape their local approach to people management.


NHS Staff Survey key findings 2011- 2015

We have published a handy resource which compares the national key finding scores for the NHS Staff survey from 2011 - 2015.

Related News

Tackling bullying and harassment in the NHS

In the first of a two-part series of podcasts listen to NHS experts and external specialists discuss bullying and harassment in the NHS.

View article

Help your colleagues talk performance

Work in communications? Our handy PPM toolkit communications pack contains intranet and newsletter copy, tweets and a digital signature to help you share this popular toolkit with your colleagues.

View article

Latest Tweets

Why Register?

Great reasons to register with NHS Employers

  • A personalised website
    Manage your profile and select topics of interest to you
  • Access your dashboard
    Bookmark useful content to help you quickly find what you're looking for
  • Get involved
    Contribute to our Talking Points discussions, comment on and rate our webpages
  • Keep up to date
    Receive the latest newsletters and media summaries

Sounds great, what next?

Register Now

Not now, I will register later

Log In