Commenting on the 2017 NHS Staff Survey results published today, Tim Gardner, Senior Policy Fellow at the Health Foundation, said:

‘Despite some welcome improvements in how NHS employers support and get the best from their people, issues like shrinking resources, rising demand and poor workforce planning are helping to create an increasingly pressurised environment that is clearly having a detrimental impact on staff health and wellbeing.

‘The number of staff satisfied with their pay is down to its lowest level in ten years, but this is about more than money. It is concerning to see small but significant falls in several important aspects of morale, as well as increasing concerns about staffing levels, and work-related stress making people unwell. Staff are increasingly reporting that they are not able to deliver the quality of care they aspire to.

‘We know that improving the working environment is often linked to improvements in the performance of services. Supporting an organisational culture that gives people at every level the skills, time and permission to make improvements can help increase morale and job satisfaction and benefit patients.   

‘However, while trusts can do more to improve staff engagement, many of these survey results will only improve when the NHS is given the resources it needs to meet growing demand without relying too much on the goodwill and sacrifice of staff. This means adequate long-term funding and a properly coordinated national workforce strategy which appropriately rewards staff for their efforts.’  

Media contact

Jack Cutforth

020 7664 4623

Further information

The staff engagement score is created from three Key Findings: KF1 – Staff recommendation of the trust as a place to work or receive treatment; KF4 – Staff motivation at work; KF7 – Staff ability to contribute to improvements at work.

The NHS staff survey found that:

  • The number of staff either satisfied or very satisfied with their level of pay has dropped 6% since last year, and is now 31%.
  • 47% of respondents either disagreed or strongly disagreed with the question ‘There are enough staff at this organisation for me to do my job properly’.
  • 38% of staff reported feeling unwell as a result of work related stress in the last 12 months. This is up 1% from last year.
  • 57% of staff said they had come to work despite not feeling well enough to perform their duties in the past three months. This is a 1% increase on last year.