Staff experience in the NHS

This page details why staff experience is so important and how employers can bring the NHS People Promise to life.

28 July 2021

When excellent staff experience is achieved, staff become inspired to be the best people they can be at work which in turn delivers the best patient care. To achieve excellent staff experience employers must create an environment where staff can succeed, feel valued, supported, and encouraged.

Why is staff experience important?

The COVID-19 pandemic has placed a significant burden on the NHS workforce and brought staff experience to the forefront. While the importance of supporting NHS staff to give better outcomes for patients has long been recognised, the pandemic has forced employers to critically re-examine how they support the whole experience of NHS staff.

Despite the relentless pressures of COVID-19 on NHS trusts, we have seen innovation, transformational change, and real improvements to enhance the experience of staff. Employers have acted quickly and effectively to facilitate a supportive, compassionate, and positive experience for their NHS staff.

It is vital that the NHS does not revert to old ways of working, but continues to build on lessons learned and ensure that the NHS People Promise is a lived reality.

This is a promise we must all make to each other – to work together to improve the experience of working in the NHS for everyone.’

Bringing the NHS People Promise to life

The NHS People Promise explores seven elements that would make the greatest difference in improving the experience of NHS staff in the workplace. We have created a visual (above) to capture how, when these seven elements are combined, meaningful staff experience can be achieved. Leaders and line managers across the NHS play a key role in bringing these elements to life. 

Our visual details the key elements that can influence, shape and bring the NHS People Promise to life. When people work together collaboratively, they can shift cultures, challenge ideas, maximise impact and make a lasting difference to the experience of NHS staff.

This graphic above is not prescriptive, and we understand that each organisation may not have a person responsible for each of the promises or one person that is responsible for more than one promise. However, we wanted to show that when all of these roles are combined including leaders and line managers staff experience can be achieved, it just might look a little different in each organisation.

Adapt, innovate, lead: improving staff experience across the NHS- conference 

On Wednesday 1 December 2021, we held our second virtual staff experience conference to provide NHS professionals with an opportunity to connect share and learn after a difficult 20 months. 

Take a look at the hashtag #InnovateNHS for highlights of the day and our conference round-up web page for more information and access to resources.