Health and wellbeing


The 2020 NHS Staff Survey results showed some positive improvements on the health and wellbeing indicators.

The overall theme score rose to 6.1, which is higher than in previous years (5.9 in 2018/2019 and 6.0 in 2016/2017). This increase is driven by a higher percentage of staff saying their organisation definitely takes positive action in health and wellbeing, rising from 29 per cent to 33 per cent. This rises to nine in ten when including staff that feel it does so to some extent (59 per cent). 

It should also be noted that staff felt supported by line managers. 70.4 per cent of staff agree that their immediate manager takes a positive interest in their health and wellbeing (a 0.6 percentage point increase on 2019).

There was also a reduction in staff attending work when unwell. 46 per cent said they have gone to work in the last three months, despite not feeling well enough to perform their duties. This is notably fewer than in previous years (56.6 per cent in 2019).

There were indicators of the increased pressure of working during the pandemic. 44 per cent of staff reported feeling unwell as the result of work-related stress (up from 40 per cent in 2019)

The survey also showed 29 per cent of staff experiencing musculoskeletal problems, an increase from 28 per cent in 2019.

The survey also shows that some groups of staff experienced particular pressures.

This year's health and wellbeing scores are:

  • lower for staff who worked on a COVID-19 specific ward or area at any time (5.65), compared to those who have not (6.35), and lower across those who have been redeployed due to the pandemic (5.74) compared to those who have not (6.19)
  • higher for those who have worked remotely/from home due to the pandemic (6.49) compared to those who have not (5.90)
  • lower for those who have been shielding (6.06) compared to those who have not (6.12).

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