The health and wellbeing data from the 2021 NHS Staff Survey shows a worsening position in comparison to the 2020 results. This data reflects the continued pressure that the NHS workforce is under and the cumulative impact that NHS staff are feeling from working throughout the pandemic.
The NHS Staff Survey now reports under the themes of the NHS People Promise. Health and wellbeing data is listed under the theme We are safe and healthy. The overall score for the NHS People Promise is a positive one (6.0 for 2021) and there is still a positive assessment of support from the employer and from line managers.
Most of the health and wellbeing questions have remained the same for 2021, however, there has been an introduction of a new question on the issue of burnout to capture how the workforce is feeling.
Key health and wellbeing scores
- 30.8 per cent of staff reported experiencing musculoskeletal problems as a result of work activities (a 1.4 percentage point increase on 2020).
- 68 per cent of respondents said that they felt their line manager takes a positive interest in their health and wellbeing (a 2.4 percentage point decrease on 2020).
- 46.8 per cent of respondents reported that they had felt unwell as a result of work-related stress within the past 12 months (a 2.8 percentage point increase on 2020).
- 54.5 per cent of respondents reported that in the past three months they had come to work despite not feeling well enough to perform their duties (an 8.1 percentage point increase on 2020).
- 24.7 per cent reported feeling pressure from managers to come to work (an 0.8 percentage point decrease on 2020).
Data on burnout
- 38 per cent of staff often or always found work emotionally exhausting.
- 34.3 per cent often or always felt burnt out because of their work.
- 39.4 per cent said their work often or always frustrated them.
- 31.1 per cent were often or always exhausted at the thought of another day or shift at work.
- 46.5 per cent often or always felt worn out at the end of their working day or shift.
- 21.1 per cent often or always felt that every working hour is tiring for them.
- 31.4 per cent reported often or always not having enough energy for family and friends during leisure time.
These questions on burnout are based on previous surveys that were used for medical staff in the NHS.
Matthew Taylor, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, has responded to the results in a press statement.