Staff Survey

Everything you need to know about the staff survey including
any resources you might need.

Why it matters

Each year, every member of staff at Newcastle Hospitals is invited to take part in the NHS staff survey, the largest survey of staff opinion in the UK. It gathers views on staff experience at work around key themes, and includes a focus on appraisal and development, health and wellbeing, staff engagement and involvement and raising concerns.

We encourage all of our staff to complete the staff survey. You can help us to focus on the things which are important to you and your answers will help to inform positive changes for our future.

a 5* luxury break for two to London

This year, everyone who completes the survey will be entered into a prize draw to win a luxury two night, 5* break for two to London. A winner will be randomly selected by Quality Health and no details of your survey will be passed onto Newcastle Hospitals. Quality Health will ask for the winner’s permission to share their name with us so that we can get in touch to book your break.

Latest results

Last year, 6,655 staff filled in their survey – 2,000 more than 2017
taking our response rate from 33% to 47%


of staff recommend the organisation as a place to receive treatment

This was the highest score in the country (against other combined acute and community trusts)

more staff filled in their survey in 2018

To find out more about last year’s results download the full report below

Engagement plan

Our engagement plan outlines how we will share results with staff through directorates to ensure they have a real impact and encourage change.

We want to ensure everyone has a voice and are at the centre of change. You can download a copy below to either share electronically or to be printed and displayed in wards and departments.


For staff

How to complete your staff survey guide

For managers

How to understand your results guide and focus groups pack


Do we have to run the staff survey?

Yes, all NHS organisations across England are required to complete the survey once a year.

Who can take part?
  • All full-time and part-time staff who are directly employed by Newcastle Hospitals on 1 September 2019 (even if the sample is drawn after this point)
  • Staff on fixed-term contracts
  • Staff on secondment to a different organisation, but only if they are still being paid by the participating organisation and have been out on secondment for less than one year
  • Hosted staff (staff seconded to the participating organisation from elsewhere, e.g. social care staff seconded from the local authority) who have a substantive contract with the organisation, but only if they are on the participating organisation’s payroll, are currently being paid by the participating organisation
  • Any staff member meeting the above criteria who is on parental leave (maternity or paternity leave)
  • Any staff member meeting the above criteria who is suspended.

Staff who are not included are:

  • Staff who started working at Newcastle Hospitals after 1 September 2019
  • Staff who are on long-term sick leave (at least 90 days) on 1 September 2019
  • Staff on unpaid career breaks
  • All staff employed by sub-contracted organisations or outside contractors (this includes staff employed through wholly owned subsidiaries)
  • Bank or locum staff (unless they also have substantive organisation contracts)
  • Seconded staff who are not being paid by the participating organisation (e.g. social care staff who are on the payroll of the local authority and are not being paid by the participating organisation)
  • Student nurses – Please note: other ‘student’ and trainee/training staff, such as student health visitors and midwives should be included, as long as they are on the payroll and not classified as student nurses
  • Non-executive directors (e.g. typically “Chair”, is in this category)
  • Staff who work under a ‘retention of employment’ (RoE) model – these are staff who hold a contract with an organisation, but are paid and managed day to day by an independent contractor.

The rationale about why the above groups are not included can be found here, in Appendix 1.

What is the format of the survey?
  • Survey mode: Mixed. This means it is online for all staff other than those on maternity leave who receive a paper copy.
  • Sample type: Full census. This means that all of our staff have a voice.
  • Contractor: Quality Health administers the survey on behalf of Newcastle Hospitals, including the reminders.
  • Data period: The staff survey opens on 1st October until 30th November each year.
Is the survey really anonymous?

Yes, the staff survey is 100% anonymous. In order to get accurate results, we need to ensure that each member of staff can only complete the survey once and to do this, we need each person to log in with a unique username and password. These are generated randomly by our third party contractor, Quality Health, who administer the survey on our behalf. They are then sent directly to your work email address which is assigned to you in ESR. Neither the contractor nor the Trust can gain access to your username and password. 

When the results are returned to us, we are not able to see any breakdowns where less than 11 people answered the question. So for example, we can see results for the whole of a directorate however if a department in that directorate had less than 11 people complete the survey, we wouldn’t be able to see results for just that department. 

You can find out more about confidentiality and why you need to log in, in the national FAQ’s document here on page 6.

When does the survey open?

The survey will be open for responses from 1 October.

How long is the survey open for?

The survey will close on 30th November.

How can staff complete the survey?
We run an online staff survey each year. On 1st October all staff will be emailed a link to the survey along with a unique username and password. This will come to your work email address registered on ESR. You can then login using these details and complete the survey.
You can also forward this email to your personal email address and complete the survey from home.

If you are on maternity leave, you will receive a paper copy sent to the home address registered on ESR. You can complete the survey and return it to the third party contractor using the freepost envelope supplied.

None of the questions are mandatory and you can skip any questions you don’t want to answer.

Are staff able to complete the survey at home?

If you receive your online survey to your work email address, you can forward this to your personal email address and complete it at home.

If you are on maternity leave, you will receive a paper copy sent to your home address registered on ESR. You can complete the survey and return it to the third party contractor using the freepost envelope provided.

When will the results be received?

The Trust level results are usually shared with the organisation by the end of January under embargo. At this point, an update is given to the board. 

The embargo is usually lifted by the end of February and at this point, the Trust level results will be shared Trust-wide and on social media. During March, our contractors will work on generating our bespoke reports which include directorate breakdowns and groupings. 

In early April, we will hold our staff survey Flourish event again. Once a directorate is booked on, they will receive their results one week before the event.

How can I understand the results?

You can download our ‘How to understand your results’ guidance here.

What is the difference between question level data and themes?

Themes are simply measured by grouping certain questions. There are 10 different themes:

  • Equality, diversity and inclusion
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Immediate managers
  • Morale
  • Quality of appraisals
  • Quality of care
  • Safe environment – bullying and harassment
  • Safe environment – violence
  • Safety culture
  • Staff engagement

The themes and groupings are dictated by the NHS Staff Survey Coordination Centre. Not all questions are grouped into themes.

Question level data shows you responses to every individual question in the survey. This is particularly useful if you want to look at data around something specific you have concerns about or even if a theme has declined, you can try and pinpoint what has influenced it.

How far can the data be broken down?

We can breakdown data in a  number of different ways. We will supply each directorate with a breakdown of the below:

  • Directorate overall
  • Directorate by staff group
  • Directorate by department

We are only able to retrieve data for any filters where there are 11 or more respondents. Any less than this, we cannot see the data. This includes response rates.

How do you draw a winner for the prize when it’s anonymous?

Our third party contractor, Quality Health, randomly selects a winner and will contacts them directly. They will then ask the winner whether they are happy to share their name and department with the Trust so that they can be given their prize.

If the winner refuses to share their information, a new winner will be drawn. Once a winner agrees for their name to be shared, we will be notified by Quality Health and will contact the winner to hand over the prize. 

Please note, that no details of the winner’s responses will be shared with us. 

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Flourish is our approach to supporting staff at Newcastle Hospitals. For more information please contact