NHS staff experience shows some improvement

The results of an NHS workforce survey show that staff experience is improving but there is still much work to do to tackle staff morale, dissatisfaction with pay, discrimination and sexual harassment, as well as the ability to raise clinical concerns.

The experiences of staff working in the NHS in England have improved across a range of important areas, according to new results from the world's largest workforce survey. Compared to the previous survey in 2022, staff are markedly more likely to say that they would recommend their organisation as a place to work; that they would be happy with the standard of care provided if a friend or relative needed treatment; and that they have the right support and resources to do their jobs. However, results for many key measures of staff experience remain below pre-COVID levels.

Results from the NHS Staff Survey, which was coordinated by the independent charity, Picker, on behalf of NHS England, included responses from more than 700,000 NHS staff working across more than 200 organisations. The survey included all directly employed staff in secondary and tertiary care organisations, ranging from consultants to care assistants and from porters to paramedics. Questions in the survey cover all aspects of work experiences, with a particular focus on those described by NHS England's People Promise.

The survey showed large improvements in a range of important areas. Two headline measures that had fallen since 2020 showed signs of recovery: the proportion of staff who would recommend their organisation as a place to work jumped 3.7% points to 61.1%, while the 65.0% said that they would be happy with the standard of care provided by their organisation if a friend or relative needed treatment, a 2.0% point improvement on 2022. Results for both measures remain below the pre-COVID levels recorded in 2019, which were 63.4% and 71.5% respectively — but NHS providers will be encouraged by the scale of improvements in 2023.

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