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
- 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.