Health and social care - everyone matters pulse survey: national report 2020

Independent report by Webropol providing detailed information and analysis of staff experience in health and social care during the initial COVID-19 period.



Extensive engagement was carried out with key stakeholder groups to explore options for implementing a national staff experience measure for 2020. That engagement process identified the need for a Pulse Survey, focussing on well-being and staff experience during the COVID-19 pandemic.  This approach provided a meaningful opportunity for staff to express their views, whilst still recognising the recovery work being undertaken across Health and Social Care. The Pulse Survey outcomes will be used to support employee experience and well-being, equality, diversity and inclusion strategies and provide a real opportunity to inform remobilisation planning and business recommendations moving forward. 

It is recognised that deviating from a full national iMatter measurement impacts understanding of the holistic staff experience for 2020. The Pulse Survey outcomes form one element of a whole system staff experience strategy that is happening over the coming months.  

With the anticipated return of a full national iMatter measurement in 2021, it will be possible to further enhance understanding of the holistic staff experience, through additional outcomes driven by the Ministerial Short Life Working Group (Cultural Reform) and development of the new Dignity at Work tool.  The focussed Pulse Survey measurement gives a strong foundation and starting point for enhancing the richness of information gathered on how Health and Social Care staff have been feeling during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Pulse Survey

The Pulse Survey asks 13 questions about overall well-being and staff experience of work during the COVID-19 pandemic.  The survey also asks staff two qualitative questions inviting them to describe what is most worrying them and what is supporting them, two short questions about the work environment and finally a suite of staff groupings and demographic questions.  

Support links to the National Wellbeing Hub, the National Wellbeing Helpline For Staff and the Samaritans were included in the survey to promote the help available to all health and social care staff through a range of resources to support physical and mental health. 

The full questionnaire is contained in Appendix 1.


Online survey invitations were sent from 1st September 2020, with responses received through until 23rd September 2020. Paper surveys were distributed to staff throughout September and returns were accepted until 2nd October 2020.  

The 22 NHSScotland Boards and 30 Health and Social Care Partnerships (HSCP) took part in the survey (see Appendix 2 for details).


This report explores the Everyone Matters Pulse Survey data and draws on stories provided through individual Boards. Case study material is also included where Boards have responded to specific queries. 

Staff Experience Stories

A total of 87 stories have been provided from across both Geographic and National Boards. Each provides insight into how individuals, teams and the wider organisation have responded to the COVID-19 pandemic. Illustrations from these stories are included within this report and links to all stories are provided in Appendix 9.



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