Latest NHS staff survey results portray a ‘distressingly grim reality’, says BMA

by BMA media

BMA press release

Location: UK
Published: Thursday 7 March 2024

Responding to results from the latest NHS staff survey published today, Dr Emma Runswick, Deputy chair of BMA council, said: “Sadly, this staff survey results portray a distressingly grim reality of healthcare professionals' experiences. Although some findings are startling, they align with reports from our members and our own surveys.

“The BMA has repeatedly expressed concern over the prevalence of unwanted sexual behaviour that exists within the health service, and we applaud the introduction of data collection regarding unwanted sexual behaviour. This step is undoubtedly crucial for addressing sexual misconduct in a focused and strategic manner. The survey found that 8.7% of NHS staff said they had been the target of at least one incident of unwanted behaviour of a sexual nature in the workplace in past 12 months from patients/service users, their relatives or other members of the public. This is deeply troubling and utterly unacceptable, underscoring the urgent need to incorporate third-party harassment into any measures aimed at safeguarding staff from sexual harassment.

“While there have been some small positive changes made in certain aspects from staff shortages to time pressures, it's imperative to differentiate between 'improvements' and what is deemed as satisfactory or acceptable. For instance, while there's a slight uptick in the number of medical and dental staff who feel there’s enough staff to enable them to do their job properly, the stark reality remains: a staggering 66% of NHS medical and dental professionals hold the opposite view. The truth is previous NHS staff survey results have been so bad that only significant and tangible improvements will allow frontline staff to truly feel their impact.

“The vast majority of medical and dental staff (68%) are dissatisfied with their pay, all while clearly struggling with unacceptable workloads, unreasonable time pressures, and inadequate resources. The Government must recognise the urgent need for fair pay and systemic improvements to support and prioritise the well-being of our invaluable healthcare workforce. How long are NHS staff expected to continue like this?”

Notes to editors

The BMA is a professional association and trade union representing and negotiating on behalf of all doctors in the UK. A leading voice advocating for outstanding health care and a healthy population. An association providing members with excellent individual services and support throughout their lives.