NHS Staff Survey

The NHS staff survey is conducted annually. From 2021/22 the survey questions align to the seven elements of the NHS ‘People Promise’ and retains the two previous themes of engagement and morale. These replaced the ten indicator themes used in previous years. All indicators are based on a score out of 10 for specific questions with the indicator score being the average of those.

The response rate to the 2022/23 survey among trust staff was 53%  (2021/22 – 64%).

2022/23 and 2021/22 feedback

Scores for each indicator, together with that of the survey national benchmarking for mental health and learning disability trusts are presented below:

(People Promise elements and themes)

Trust score
group score
Trust score
group score

We are compassionate and inclusive

7.8 7.5 7.8 7.5
We are recognised and rewarded 6.5 6.3 6.8 6.3
We each have a voice that counts 7.1 7.0 7.3 7.0
We are safe and healthy 6.4 6.2 6.5 6.2
We are always learning 5.9 5.6 6.0 5.6
We work flexibly 6.8 6.7 6.9 6.7
We are a team 7.2 7.1 7.3 7.1
Staff engagement 7.2 7.0 7.3 7.0
Morale 6.2 6.0 6.5 6.0

2020/21 feedback

Scores for each indicator together with that of the survey benchmarking group mental health and learning disability trusts are presented below.

  Trust score
Group score
Equality, diversity and inclusion 9.3 9.1
Health and wellbeing 6.7 6.4
Immediate managers 7.5 7.3
Morale 6.8 6.4
Quality of care 7.6 7.5
Safe environment – bullying and harassment 8.4 8.3
Safe environment – Violence 9.4 9.5
Safety culture 7.1 6.9
Staff engagement 7.5 7.2
Team working 7.3 7.0

In comparison to our previous year’s results, we remained the same in the majority of areas (71 areas) with one area being significantly better and twenty significantly worse.

When compared to other mental health and learning disability organisations we were significantly better in 46 areas and the same in 51, with no areas being significantly worse. 

Whilst there was a dip in both response rate and scores in some areas in comparison to 2021 data; we see that this is a national trend and that overall, both in the Picker and national benchmarking, we remain above average across all seven areas of the People Promise and staff engagement and morale.

It is pleasing to see that for a second year in a row our staff believe we takes health and wellbeing seriously at 73%, 9% higher than the Picker average.  And compared to the Picker average, we also score favourably in relation to acting fairly on career progression, having adequate materials, supplies and equipment to carry out role, recommending the organisation as a place to work and feeling like the organisation would address any concerns raised.

Through partnering with data specialists at Lincoln College and creating digital applications through our local Trust systems, the data generated from this latest staff survey has been further interrogated to provide both overall areas of focus and division specific trends, that have been shared with divisions to generate local action plans.

The overall areas of focus for the organisation are:

  • Staffing
  • Pay
  • Flexible working
  • Teamwork
  • Violence and aggression
  • Variation in leadership
  • Continuous professional development

We have also themed our free text responses from staff, to align to the national People Promise areas. Again, these themes echo much of what the quantitative data tells us and highlights staffing levels as our number one area of focus.  In addition to this, several sub themes emerged relating to variation in leadership styles, pay in terms of cost of living, perceived fairness of some pay policies and pay in relation to bank staffing.

Future priorities and targets

We now have a dashboard that allows us to analyse our results in even more detail service by service, to ensure that we are applying a solution that is targeted to what staff in those areas are telling us.  We are working with our services using the engagement cycle and regular communication, so that staff are continuously engaged in both the solutions and outcomes, closing the feedback loop that is often lacking in any staff engagement process.

The objectives in our 2023/24 People Plan have been shaped using the data from the staff survey and there are detailed action plans attached to each theme.  Progress against these plans will be regularly reviewed at People Leadership Team and divisional action plans included as a standard agenda item at People Workforce Advisory Group for oversight.

A few of the key actions planned to address areas of concern include: piloting improved team rostering in certain 24/7 services, a plan for every vacancy, embedding Affina Team journey across the organisation, introducing a values based leadership framework and organisational development offer to support this.