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.

Respondent Profile

This chapter provides an overview of the profile of staff taking part in the Everyone Matters Pulse Survey 2020.


The Pulse Survey asked demographic questions, which have not previously been included in iMatter, but were included in the 2017 Dignity at Work survey as it was also a survey based on individual, rather than team responses.

These questions were optional, meaning staff do not have to answer these questions when completing the survey and all have a valid response rate of 90% or more. 

Details of the responses to the demographic questions are included in Appendix 4. 

This data will be used, alongside other information, to inform work going forward on equality, diversity and inclusion.

Staff Grouping

As with iMatter previously, the Pulse Survey asked which group staff belong to. The question was also optional.

Of the 83,656 staff who took part in the survey only 185 (0.2%) chose not to indicate 

whether they were NHSScotland or Local Authority employees. Of those that answered this question, 87% are NHSScotland and 13% Local Authority Employees. 

1% of NHSScotland and 2% of Local Authority Employees did not then answer the subsequent staff grouping question.

Employer Number of Responses Percentage
NHSScotland 72,336  
Administrative Services (Finance, HR, IT, call handler, office and patient services) 16,965 23%
Allied Health Profession 8,506 12%
Ambulance Services 1,797 3%
Doctors and Dentists in Training (DDiT) 927 1%
Health Science Services 2,640 4%
Medical and Dental 4,945 7%
Medical and Dental Support (Salaried GP, physician's assistant, theatre services, operating department, dental technician, hygienist, dental & orthodontist therapist, oral health) 724 1%
Nursing and Midwifery 25,265 35%
Other Therapeutic (Optometry, pharmacy, psychology, genetic counselling) 2,948 4%
Personal and Social Care 835 1%
Senior Managers (Executive grades, senior manager pay band) 1,104 2%
Support Services (Catering, domestics, porters, estates and facilities, security, laundry, transport, sterile services) 4,888 7%
No Answer 792 1%
Employer Number of Responses Percentage
Local Authority 11,135  
Adult Services 4,866 44%
Business Services (Business Improvement, Support Services, Information Systems, Finance & Administration) 874 8%
Children's Services 1,640 15%
Criminal Justice 512 5%
Older People Services 2,775 25%
Senior Managers 106 1%
Strategic Development 141 1%
No Answer 221 2%


As context to this report, it is important to recognise the level of change being experienced by staff in Health and Social Care. 74% of staff taking part in the Pulse Survey experienced change in either their job role or the environment they work in through the COVID-19 pandemic (up to the survey fieldwork in September 2020). 

Change in Work Circumstances

Of the staff who said they experienced change, 42% said they were working from home more than usual, 22% were working in a different location and 17% were performing a different role either within their own team or elsewhere. This unprecedented level of change is challenging for both the organisation and individuals within it. 

Change in Work Circumstances

The example below is just one of many Staff Experience Stories about how roles have changed:

HR Directorate Salus – Occupational Health - Rising to the challenge

During March – June [2020] c.120 staff from the Occupational Health team were redeployed across NHS Lanarkshire to support Covid related activity.

This involved staff with relevant clinical backgrounds supporting various departments including Critical Care, Physiotherapy, Mental Health services, HR (recruitment of volunteers & bank staff). Others supported the Wellbeing Programme working with Psychology and Spiritual Services. These additional staff provided a valuable resource for HR to provide support to departments requiring additional input.

NHS Lanarkshire

Change in Personal Circumstances

The changes in personal circumstances staff most often say they have experienced, centre on supporting other members of the household or family. 25% of staff experiencing change say they are providing support for relatives living elsewhere and 24% say they are caring for school age children at home, as schools were closed from March to August 2020. These, and other changes to personal circumstances, will have put considerable pressure on staff to manage increased personal responsbilities alongside work. 

Change in Personal Circumstances

Throughout the survey, those who have experienced change only rate marginally lower both for well-being and work experience than those who have not experienced change (see Appendix 10). This may reflect both the way in which change has been managed and the overall disruption that has impacted everyone, even those who have not personally experienced change in their job role or work environment.



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