The NHS Staff Survey

tick box on a form

Each year NHS staff are invited to take part in the NHS Staff Survey, the largest survey of staff opinion in the UK. It gathers views on staff experience at work around key areas, and includes:

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

How it works

The survey adopts a method of assessing overall NHS performance on people management, to help organisations understand and compare their own performance. There is a core section which is used by the Care Quality Commission as part of the ongoing monitoring of registration compliance.

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

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

The scores across all three dimensions are converted 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 and enable comparison between organisations.

Traditionally the NHS scores high on levels of motivation and satisfaction but with variable levels of involvement and advocacy, and overall scores have improved in recent years. The survey also 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.


NHS Staff Survey 2018

Access the results and key findings from the 2018 NHS Staff Survey.

Meeting for finance

NHS Staff Survey 2019 - progress and challenges

Access the results and key themes from the 2019 NHS Staff Survey.

form on a tablet

NHS Staff Survey 2017

Learn more about the NHS Staff Survey results for 2017.


NHS Staff Survey 2020

The NHS Staff Survey 2020 results


Making the best use of your 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.

Hospital staff

The Staff Friends and Family Test

The Staff Friends and Family Test acts as an overall barometer of staff experience, gathering staff views on the organisation as a place to work and to be treated.

Related News

The NHS Staff Survey 2020 results

NHS Employers

Find out about the 2020 NHS Staff Survey results

View article

Time to Talk Day - 4 February

NHS Employers

Time to Talk Day encourages us to be open about mental health – to talk, to listen, to change lives.

View article

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

Log In