Commentary on the free text questions from the 2020 NHS staff survey


The statistical results of the 2020 NHS Staff Survey, published in March this year, gave invaluable insight into the experiences of some 600,000 of people working in the NHS in autumn 2020, six months into the COVID-19 pandemic.

We are grateful to everyone for taking the time to feedback their experiences.

The survey included two free text questions, asking staff what lessons should be learned based on their experience of working through the Covid-19 pandemic, and what worked well and should be continued. The questions were not designed to measure and compare how well different organisations were performing but can be used to provide insight around the different experiences that staff had.

National Commentary

A national commentary on the free text questions is now available to download here. This provides numerical information at a national level on the topics most mentioned by staff.

The commentary is part of work across the NHS to get better at listening well and responding to colleagues in line with the NHS People Promise, to which the 2021 Staff Survey will be aligned.

Guidance document

A guidance document is available here which provides advice and information about how the results can be interpreted and used, including a list of frequently asked questions.

Technical document

A technical document is available to download here which provides a description of the analysis process by Hertzian, the company who conducted the data analytics.

Pre-Release Access List

A document detailing all those who had 24-hour pre-release access to the national commentary on the free text questions can be found here.