2020 NHS National Staff Survey free text commentary

The 2020 NHS Staff Survey included two free text questions, designed to provide insight into the different experiences staff had of working through the pandemic and what they would like to see continue in the longer term.

Each of the 280 NHS organisations which participated in the 2020 Survey has now received its individual data and is encouraged to fully review this to further deepen its understanding of and priorities for their NHS people’s experiences.

In total, there were some 700,000 comments split across the two questions. These have been robustly analysed in line with information governance guidance to protect anonymity and provide a richness and depth of information in addition to the quantitative data published in March.

A national commentary, available on the Staff Survey Co-ordination Centre website, provides numerical information at a national level on the topics most mentioned by staff.

The two free text questions were not designed to measure and compare how well different organisations were performing. Unlike the benchmark reports published in March and in line with standard practice of previous years, individual organisational data from the text free comments will not be published by the Staff Survey Co-ordination Centre.

The national commentary and local reports are part of work across the NHS to get better at listening well and responding to our NHS people, in line with the NHS People Promise to which the 2021 Staff Survey will be aligned.

Any organisation wanting more information or support on how to make best use of their local free text data should contact