We have developed these frequently asked questions which we hope you will find useful.

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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 2021
  • 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 on long term sickness absence of more than 90 days
  • Staff who have been on secondment at an organisation for more than 12 months

Staff who are not included are:

  • Staff who started working at Newcastle Hospitals after 1 September 2021
  • 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.
  • For rationale about why the above groups are not included can be found here.

What is the format of the survey?

  • Survey mode: Mixed. This means it is online for all staff other than those on maternity leave, long term sick or secondment 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.
  • The staff survey opens on 1 October 2021 and closes on 26 November 2021.

Is the survey 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. 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.

Why does the questionnaire need an ID number and barcode?

You have been given a unique identification (ID) number so that your name and work contact details are not on the questionnaire. After the first survey is distributed, survey contractors use the ID numbers 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 an external survey contractor, there is no way
that anyone in your organisation will be able to link data with a particular ID number or individual.

Will my response be kept confidential?

You will post/submit your completed questionnaire directly to the independent survey contractor appointed by your organisation. Your organisation does not have access to the questionnaires or to any linked personal data (e.g. names and addresses).

The report that is sent back to the organisation presents the survey findings in summary form, and does not reveal the identity of the staff sampled. To help preserve anonymity, the Coordination Centre will not provide feedback on any group from which there are 11 or fewer responses.

What happens with the information collected?

The surveys are collated by the survey contractors and the response data are sent to the Staff Survey Coordination Centre. The Coordination Centre are then able to provide organisations with data to compare their performance with other organisations of a similar type and also produce national statistics for NHS England and NHS Improvement.

Where will the data be stored?

The data are stored in accordance with the GDPR and the Data Protection Act 2018 and following the principles of the NHS Confidentiality Code of Practice. Completed questionnaires are returned directly to an independent survey contractor.

When does the survey open?

The survey will be open for responses from 1 October 2021

How long is the survey open for?

The survey will close on 26 November 2021

How do I complete the survey?

We run an online staff survey each year. On 1 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, secondment for more than 12 months or long-term sickness 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.

Can I complete the survey at home?

You can access your NHS.net email account on any web enabled device so can complete the survey wherever is convenient for you. To find out how to access your NHS.net email address click here.

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

If you are on maternity leave, secondment for more than 12 months or long-term sickness 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 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.

Further work will take place across the year to share results with staff across the Trust.

What is the difference between question level data and themes?

Themes are simply measured by grouping certain questions. There are 7 different themes aligning the survey to the People Promise:

  • Your job
  • Your team
  • People in your organisation
  • Your managers
  • Your health, well-being and safety at work
  • Your personal development
  • Your experience during to Covid-19 Pandemic

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.

What do we do with the data?

The feedback from your staff survey can help to inform change across our organisation. The results also feed in to the What Matters to You campaign and you can find more about this project here.

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

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

If the winner refuses to share their information, a new winner will be drawn. Once the winners agree for their names to be shared, we will be notified by Quality Health and will contact the winners to hand over the prizes.

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

Further questions

Contact Anna Thompson, Staff Experience and Engagement Officer
[email protected]