The NHS Staff Survey

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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.

Tick boxes

NHS Staff Survey 2016

Learn more about the NHS Staff Survey results for 2016.

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NHS Staff Survey 2017

Learn more about the NHS Staff Survey results for 2017.


NHS Staff Survey 2015

The NHS Staff Survey results have been published and show progress in many areas, read our highlights.


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.


NHS Staff Survey key findings 2011-2015

A handy resource which compares the national key finding scores for the NHS Staff Survey from 2011 - 2015.

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

New staff retention resources

Our new guides explore two key areas for employers to consider when looking to improve staff retention.

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New staff engagement case studies

We have published four new case studies and a common themes document looking at how trusts in the North East have improved staff engagement and looked at the relationship between staff engagement and patient experiences.

View article

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