Intended for healthcare professionals

Feature Data Briefing

What do NHS doctors think about their work?

BMJ 2017; 357 doi: (Published 11 May 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;357:j2232
  1. John Appleby, chief economist, Nuffield Trust, London, UK
  1. john.appleby{at}

John Appleby finds much variation among trusts in the latest NHS staff survey

All good organisations want to know how their staff feel about their work. Disgruntled and unhappy staff means poor service and inefficiency, which for healthcare businesses can have serious consequences for patients and their health. This is the reason the NHS in England has been carrying out a staff survey every year since 2003, with the latest survey results published earlier this year.1

Given the size of the NHS workforce, the task is immense. For the latest survey more than 982 000 directly employed staff (about 94% of staff, and excluding those in contracted services such as general practice) were invited to take part, and 423 000 (44%), from hundreds of NHS organisations, responded.2 The survey included questions about working patterns, health and wellbeing, patient care, and bullying and was large enough to provide details at organisational and occupation levels. So what do …

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