NHS Providers response to NHS staff survey

30 March 2022

Responding to the 2021 NHS Staff Survey from NHS England and NHS Improvement, Saffron Cordery, deputy chief executive of NHS Providers said: "The last two years have been hugely challenging for NHS staff who have worked tirelessly in the pandemic and continue to work flat out tackling care backlogs and ongoing pressures from COVID-19.

"It's no surprise that all of this has affected staff morale and wellbeing, and these factors are compounded by critical staff shortages across the NHS. Just 27% of people working in the NHS feel there are enough staff in their organisation to allow them to do their jobs properly, while there are also concerning increases in the proportion of staff suffering work-related stress and considering leaving.

"Trust leaders are equally concerned about the impact of workforce pressures on services, with 97% of respondents to our recent workforce survey saying that shortages are having a serious and detrimental impact on services.

"It is vital that the government comes up with a fully-costed and funded workforce plan to ensure the NHS has the staff it needs to meet increased demand for services now and in the future. Along with almost 100 health and social care organisations we support an amendment to the Health and Care Bill which would require the government to publish regular assessments of workforce numbers needed across health and care, and we call on ministers and MPs to pledge their support too.

"It's disappointing too to see a lack of progress on key measures for ethnic minority NHS staff. It's still too common that staff are subject to bullying, harassment or abuse from patients or colleagues, and it is particularly concerning to see that nearly one in five ethnic minority staff have experienced discrimination from someone they work with in the last year. There are similar concerning trends for staff living with lasting health conditions and we must find ways to address the large proportion of disabled staff who don't feel valued.

"Leaders across the NHS and government must act to address this and work to eliminate inequalities based on race and disability in promotions and career progression where a large gap has persisted to the detriment of staff with protected characteristics.

"Trusts are working hard to prioritise staff wellbeing and it's good to see that the majority of staff feel their leaders are compassionate listeners who take effective action to help alleviate their concerns.

"But staff satisfaction with pay is at its lowest in five years. The cost of living is rising significantly therefore trust leaders and staff must see a meaningful, fully-funded uplift to pay from the government this year to help organisations address the many concerning trends in the survey results."