Good and bad in the 2020 NHS Staff Survey


The NHS Staff Survey shows an improving picture for health & wellbeing, staff morale, reporting of incidents and quality of care, but highlights that there is still work to do on equality, diversity and inclusion.

The results, published last week, are based on 579,400 responses from 220 Trusts. The impact of the pandemic is evident with a marked increase in the number of staff reporting feeling unwell due to work-related stress (up to 44% from 40.3% in 2019). Staff satisfaction for flexible working has also improved – up to 57% from 54%. 

In spite of the pressures of the pandemic, staff morale is positive. Fewer people are thinking about leaving their organisation or leaving the NHS entirely than in 2019 (a decrease of two percentage points and one percentage point respectively).

Quality of Care remains strong with 82.1% of staff saying they are satisfied with the quality of care they give to patients. 

The biggest negatives highlighted in the survey results are around equality, diversity and inclusion. Whilst 83.6% of staff felt their organisation acts fairly with regard to career progression or promotion regardless of ethnic background, gender, religion, sexual orientation, disability or age, this is a slight decrease since 2019 (83.9%) and it is a decrease of two percentage points since 2016. At 8.4%, the number of staff reporting discrimination from managers or colleagues is the highest it has been in the last five years and has increased from 7.7% in 2019. Only 69.2% of BME staff said their organisation provides equal opportunities (compared with 87.3% of white staff). This is the lowest it has been in the last five years, falling from 71.2% in 2019 and 73.2% in 2016.

HEFMA has recognised the importance of diversity and inclusivity within the estates and facilities (EFM) workforce and has named this as one of six key areas of focus in its Joint Workforce Strategy, launched last week in partnership with IHEEM. This strategy commits to developing ways to raise awareness of diversity and inclusion within the EFM community, particularly at senior level.

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