Date Published: 16 March 2011

Results of survey of NHS staff in England, completed Q4 2010

The results of the 8th annual survey to collect the views of NHS staff across England have been published today 16/03/2011 by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

Almost 165,000 employees at the country's 388 trusts took part in the survey, which was carried out during the final quarter of 2010. This represented 54% of those who were asked to participate, compared with 55% in 2009. The survey covered all occupational groups, from doctors and nurses to clerical workers, and from radiographers to clinical psychologists. They were asked a broad range of questions seeking their experiences of, or opinions on, matters such as appraisals, training, job satisfaction, line management, work-related stress, experience of violence and abusive behaviour, and making a difference to patients.

Cynthia Bower, CQC's chief executive, said:

" This is an important survey because it provides a snapshot of how those who work within the NHS feel about what they do and the experiences they have at work
_ I know that the vast majority of NHS employees are personally committed and motivated to do the best work they possibly can. The survey results will help trusts to pinpoint what else they can do to support and develop staff to ensure they can provide the best care for patients.
_ The Department of Health will also make use of the findings, to inform its policy-making and its work on performance measurement and service improvement.
_ For our part, as the care services regulator, the survey findings will contribute to the information we gather on how well trusts are continuing to comply with some of the essential standards of quality and safety that underpin our work


Some of the findings from the NHS staff survey

The following paragraphs are from the Press Release on the CQC website:
Certain questions in the survey showed that ambulance personnel had poorer experiences compared with other groups of employees, for instance in the support they received from their manager and the extent to which they felt their work was valued by their trust. However, many ambulance staff work in a different environment to others in the NHS, making comparisons inappropriate. There were improvements for ambulance workers since the 2009 survey in some respects, notably the proportions that received appraisals and health and safety training.

Appraisals, training and development

77% of staff had received an appraisal or development review, up from 69% in 2009, but only 34% felt their appraisal or review was well structured, (31% in 2009). Despite high levels of training, only 35% of staff felt they had good opportunities to progress at work, against 40% in 2009. Of ambulance staff, 70% had an appraisal, up from 47% in 2009, but only 20% felt it was well structured (14% in 2009). While 78% of all staff received health and safety training (compared with 76% in 2009), the figures for ambulance staff rose considerably, to 55% compared with 45% in 2009.

Staff as advocates

Nearly two-thirds (64%) of respondents said they would be happy with the standard of care provided by their trust if a relative or friend needed treatment (compared with 62% in 2009), and over half (53%) said they would recommend their trust as a place to work (55% in 2009).

Making a difference to patients

90% of staff felt that their role ultimately made a difference to patients, and 87% were satisfied with the quality of care they personally gave. Both these figures were unchanged from 2009.

Violence and abuse

8% of staff overall reported experiencing physical violence from patients, relatives or other members of the public, while 15% said they had been subjected to bullying, harassment and abuse. The figures on violence were higher for front-line staff (12%), particularly workers in ambulance trusts (18%) and mental health trusts (15%). Bullying, harassment and abuse from patients and relatives were also more prevalent among front-line staff (18%) and much worse for ambulance workers (27%).15% of all staff had experienced bullying, harassment and abuse from their line manager or other colleagues.


There has been a slight reduction in the proportion of staff who said that hot water, soap and paper towels or alcohol rubs were always available when they needed them – down to 68% from 71% in 2009. 25% said that they were available most of the time, compared with 23% previously. 60% said that hand-washing materials were always available to patients (63% in 2009) and 22% that they were available most of the time (previously 21%).

Errors, near misses and incidents

32% of staff said they had seen at least one error, "near miss" or incident that could have hurt staff or patients in the last month (compared with 33% in 2009). Of front-line staff, 42% said that they had witnessed at least one such adverse event in the last month (43% in 2009). The number of ambulance staff witnessing errors, near misses or incidents has decreased from 37% in 2009 to 34% in 2010.

Staff turnover

There has been a slight increase in the proportion of staff who said they intended to leave their employer. 29% of all the respondents, compared with 28% in 2009, said they often felt like leaving their trust; 21% (20% in 2009) said they would probably look for another job in the next year; and 15% (14% in 2009) said they would leave as soon as they could find another job.

Source: The Care Quality Commission (England, UK).

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