NHS Staff Survey 2023: analysis of the results

Read our analysis of the the largely positive results from the key themes surveyed for 2023.

7 March 2024

The NHS Staff Survey results for 2023 demonstrate positive improvement across most measures, especially those linked to the pledges of the NHS People Promise

The annual survey of staff across all NHS trusts in England covers nine key themes, seven of which are directly linked to the People Promise and four of these saw improved results - themes covering recognition and reward, learning and development, flexible working and team working. 

The other key theme to see improvement this year was around staff morale. 

Three of the key indicators remained stable compared to 2022, these were around compassionate and inclusive leadership, having a voice that counts and staff engagement.

While the health and safety indicator was not reported for 2023 due to an issue with data collection.

Staff experience

The results for key areas of staff experience demonstrate positive progress. This is highlighted by an increase in staff recommending the NHS as a place to work, after a fall in 2022. This measure is still below the pre-pandemic level reported in 2019, but moving in a positive direction. 

Flexible working 

There has been an increase in the measures of staff satisfaction around flexible working, with particular improvement in staff feeling able to raise flexible working issues with their manager. NHS Employers has a wide range of resources on flexible working, which you can access here.

Health and wellbeing

The overall score for healthy and safe working has not been reported this year. There were small improvements in levels of burnout and stress experienced for staff, though these remain unacceptably high. 

There was an improvement in staff feeling their employer takes positive action on health and wellbeing and on feeling supported by their line manager.

Staff engagement 

The overall indicator for staff engagement is described as stable. There were improvements in the measures of staff involvement and especially in the ability of staff to make improvements happen in their work areas. There was also an improvement in the level of staff recommending the NHS as a place to work. 

Key takeaways from other areas

The largest increase was in the measure for learning and development which saw particular improvement on experience of appraisals. There was also improvement on the team working measure. 

Recognition and reward saw improvements in staff satisfaction on pay and on feeling recognised and valued. This was backed by a small decrease in staff thinking of leaving the NHS. NHS Employers has developed a range of resources on staff retention to support you with this aim.

Scores on staff freedom to speak up remained broadly stable. 

The survey continued to show significant equality gaps in the experience of staff with protected characteristics and a a gradual increase in the percentage of staff reporting to have experienced discrimination at work. 

While the new question introduced for 2023 on sexual harassment in NHS workplaces highlighted the need for ongoing action on this issue. 

NHS Employers webinar - 13 March 2024

NHS Employers will be discussing the findings from the 2023 NHS Staff Survey in a special webinar on 13 March 2024. See more details and book your free place here. 

Read NHS Employers' formal response to the results in our media statement.

Explore the NHS Staff Survey results in more detail on the NHS England website.