The NHS Staff Survey 2020 results have now been published. The annual survey asks NHS staff in England about their experiences of working for their respective NHS organisations. Nearly 700,000 comments were received with health & wellbeing during COVID-19 as one of the main topics. 

The survey asked a series of quantitative questions, but also gave staff an opportunity to add their own words.

A significant number of responses were received from staff about their experiences, and analysis was then carried out on these comments using an advanced, AI-powered text analysis tool.

Two topics were consistently mentioned by staff when considering what lessons should be learnt from their experiences of working through the COVID-19 pandemic. These were working arrangements (68,520) and health and wellbeing (81,030).

In terms of working arrangements, staff highlighted that while there is collaborative working within teams, there is a need for greater collaborative working across medical specialists. The use of paper records for patient data also made working from home challenging with staff often feeling isolated from their patients and many calling for greater efficiency in data sharing.

In relation to health and wellbeing, staff highlighted that one size doesn’t fit all and that people manage their experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic differently. They also noted the emotional and physical toll of working through the pandemic, and the lack of support available.

Many called for organisational level changes to ensure teams and departments are supported - although, welcomed the introduction of wellness centres and the presence of senior managers and leaders to support morale.

These survey results provide a deep insight into the psychological challenges currently facing NHS staff, however there is a notable lack of any qualitative information about how this could be impacting upon ability to meet patient need.

Though our work with All.Can UK we will continue to use our stakeholder engagement to highlight the virtuous cycle that exists between staff wellbeing and meeting patient need, pointing to this data as a powerful indicator of the impact the pandemic has had on NHS staff.


NHS Staff Survey 2020