Have your say about work in confidence: complete the latest NHS staff survey for England.
CSP members who work for the NHS in England may be among those receiving a copy of the annual staff survey for their organisation in October/November. Similar surveys are conducted in the other UK countries.
This is the single most important survey of staff in the NHS. It influences the agenda for national discussions on issues including partnership working, pay, recruitment and retention, stress, workload, motivation and morale.
Why complete the survey?
The CSP is urging all members who receive a copy to complete the survey as honestly and truthfully as possible. There have been concerns that the published survey results for physiotherapy respondents across England from previous years do not reflect the anecdotal evidence that we regularly receive and CSP survey data of high workloads, staff shortages and stress that members are facing on a daily basis. The purpose of the survey is to collect staff views about working in their NHS organisation.
This information is published at national level and is also presented at organisation level to trusts. The information should be reviewed by local staff and management sides working together to identify any particular problems or issues and to come up with a plan to resolve them.
How can I be sure management won’t see my responses?
We know that many staff are concerned about confidentiality and that their individual responses could find their way back to their manager. All participating organisations must send the survey to a basic sample of 1,250 staff. Organisations with fewer than 1,250 eligible staff must conduct a full census and include all eligible staff.
To ensure responses remain confidential all participating organisations must employ an independent survey contractor to administer the survey with completed surveys being returned direct to the contractor, not the employer.
This means that your answers will not be seen by anyone at your organisation and survey contractors must treat your completed questionnaire in strict confidence, making sure they adhere to the Data Protection Act 1998. Your organisation will not have access to the questionnaires or to any linked personal data such as your name or address. The report is returned to your organisation by the contractor in summary form and does not reveal the identity of the staff who have responded. The Co-ordination Centre will not provide feedback on any group from which there are 10 or fewer responses.
Won’t the barcode on the questionnaire mean I can be identified?
Some staff have been concerned that the unique identification number and barcode on their survey form could reveal their identity to their employer. These are used by the contractors to ensure that reminder letters/emails are only sent to staff who have not returned a questionnaire. As staff return their completed questionnaires directly to the external survey contractor no-one in your organisation will be able to link data with a particular ID number or individual.
If you provide additional written comments with your response these may be passed on to your organisation (as outlined in the disclaimer on the questionnaire) so consider this before including any identifying information in your written comments. Comments will always be anonymised before they are made publically available.
So do take this opportunity to let your organisation have open and honest feedback. This is the best way to ensure that problems can be identified and action taken to resolve them. Ask your local CSP rep to report back on any action taken as a result of the survey results in the coming months. If your organisation hasn’t already reported back, ask for information about what happened as a result of last year’s survey.
Find out more
To access the 'NHS Staff Survey: Frequently Asked Questions' document from which this information is taken, go to the NHS Staff Survey coordination centre: