23 February, 2016

News > NHS Staff Survey 2015 – Evidence of an engaged but highly pressured workforce

The 2015 NHS Staff Survey results, published today by NHS England and Picker, is the largest ever collection of workforce feedback about what it is like to work in the NHS in England.  With nearly 300,000 responses, the 2015 NHS Staff Survey provides very reliable evidence both nationally and for 297 participating organisations. NHS staff survey key findings are:

  • Overall NHS employee engagement has improved continuously over the last five years.
  • The majority of NHS staff (69%) agreed or strongly agreed that they would be happy with the quality of care their organisation provided if a friend or relative needed treatment.
  • Most NHS staff (80%) agree that they are “able to do [their] job to a standard [they are] personally pleased with”.
  • Many staff feel under pressure: only 31% agree that there are enough staff at their organisations to enable them to do their jobs properly, and 37% reported feeling unwell due to work related stress in the last year.
  • As in previous years, results for ambulance trusts were typically much poorer than for other organisation types

Commenting on the results, Chris Graham, Picker’s Director of Research & Policy and chief investigator for the survey, said: “The NHS Staff Survey results provide unparalleled insight into the experiences of staff working in the NHS in England.  Today’s publication shows welcome improvements in some key measures of staff experience, including overall engagement and staff willingness to recommend their organisations. These improvements represent continuation of a general upward trend and are very encouraging. Despite the positive messages about staff engagement, the survey also shows evidence that staff across the NHS are struggling with the pressures facing them. Too many staff complain about inadequate resources, staffing shortages, and the deleterious impact of their work on their own health and wellbeing. Furthermore, results show considerable variation across and within different types of organisation. We call on all employers to closely review their results and take action to ensure staff are supported and listened to. After all, staff wellbeing is not only important in and of itself, but it is also an essential driver of productivity and patient experience: staff experience cannot and must not be ignored.”

A PDF download of the press release is available here



  • The 2015 NHS Staff Survey is co-ordinated by Picker on behalf of NHS England.  The 2015 survey was the 13th time the survey has been conducted.
  • A total of 297 English NHS organisations participated in the survey. All 241 NHS Trusts participate in the survey, and other organisations such as CCGs take part on a voluntary basis. Figures for NHS Trusts only are included above, as they have full coverage.
  • The survey was sent to over 741,000 NHS staff – over 100,000 more than the 2014 survey, which had a sample size of around 624,000.  The survey had a final response rate of 41%, with nearly 300,000 responses received.
  • The survey was conducted between September and December 2015.  All staff directly employed by an NHS organisation on 1st September 2015 were eligible.
  • Further information about the survey, including detailed results, are available at nhsstaffsurveys.com.
  • For all Picker media enquiries, speaker opportunities and recent news please contact: Communications Manager Helen Thorne on helen.thorne@PickerEurope.ac.uk or 01865208135
  • For further information visit https://www.picker.org/

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