In the 2020 Everyone Matters Pulse Survey (EMPS) questions were asked about change that staff had experienced in the months prior to completing the survey. The questions were asked in recognition of huge impact that the COVID-19 pandemic had on both professional and personal lives. As that change is still ongoing for many, the question was asked again in iMatter 2021.
The question was optional and 3% of staff chose not to provide an answer. Of those that did answer the question, 63% said they had experienced change either in their job role or the environment they work in, since September 2020.
This is down slightly from the 2020 EMPS where 74% of staff said they had experienced change through the COVID-19 pandemic until September 2020.
|EMPS 2021||iMatter 2021|
|Did not Experience Change||22%||35%|
|No answer given||4%||3%|
Whilst generally comparisons are not made in this report to EMPS 2020, the information on change is provided to give an indication of the progression that has been made since Autumn 2020.
It is important to note that whilst comparative data is shown in this section, the time periods staff were asked to consider differed. For EMPS the time period was typically 6 months (from the start of the pandemic in March to the survey in September). For iMatter the time period was longer for most staff (from September 2020 to the time of completing the survey up to September 2021). This may lead to variations in some data. For example, the proportion experiencing a life event will be likely to increase as a direct result of the longer time frame referenced for iMatter, and therefore a greater 'opportunity' for staff to have experienced that event.
Change in Work Circumstances
Note: In EMPS 2020 the nature of change experienced was reported as a percentage of those who experienced change. In order to enable comparison to be made with iMatter 2021, those percentages have been recalculated to be shown as a percentage of all staff taking part in EMPS 2020. The data as shown in the EMPS 2020 report is contained in Appendix 5.
Among those who say they have experienced any change in work circumstances since September, 41% say they have been working from home more than usual. This equates to one in four staff across Health and Social Care (based on the responses of all staff taking part in iMatter 2021). 15% of all staff say they have been working at a different location. One in ten staff have been reassigned to a different team, and a similar proportion to a different role within the same team.
In comparison to EMPS 2020, the proportion of staff who say they are working from home more than usual has decreased by 6pps from 31% in 2020 to 25% in 2021. Other types of work change experienced have remained at similar levels.
|All staff completing the survey||iMatter 2021||EMPS 2020|
|Working from home more than usual||25%||31%|
|Working at a different location (e.g. different hospital, care home etc.)||15%||16%|
|Reassigned to a different team||10%||11%|
|Reassigned to a different role, but still in the same team||9%||10%|
|Reassigned to a different directorate||2%||1%|
|Reassigned to a different board||1%||1%|
|I have been furloughed||<1%||<1%|
Change in Personal Circumstances
Of note is the data relating to personal changes experienced, is the proportion of staff who have experienced physical or mental ill health (non COVID-19). 13% of staff taking part in iMatter 2021 (21% of those experiencing change) have suffered ill health since September 2020. Whilst much of this will be 'regular' illness, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on staff can also be seen.
Other key areas of personal change experienced are around other family members, with providing support to vulnerable relatives at 13% of all staff and 11% suffering the loss of a friend or relative. The challenges of school age children at home remain, as intermittent class and school closures have continued through this academic year.
In comparisons to EMPS 2020, there are changes in the level of personal change that has been experienced since September 2020. The proportion of staff suffering ill health, among those taking part in each survey, has increased from 11% in EMPS 2020 to 15% in iMatter 2021. This may or may not be COVID-19 related and is potentially influenced by the differing time periods as noted previously.
|iMatter 2021||EMPS 2020|
|School age children at home||13%||17%|
|I have experienced physical or mental ill health (non COVID-19)||13%||11%|
|Providing support for vulnerable relative (living elsewhere)||13%||19%|
|Loss of a friend or relative||11%||10%|
|I have tested positive for COVID-19||7%||1%|
|Other household members furloughed||7%||11%|
|Care responsibilities for another member of the household||6%||7%|
|Worsening of financial situation (e.g. household member job loss or reduced hours)||6%||9%|
|Preschool children at home||4%||6%|
|Shielding at home (because I or other household members are clinically vulnerable)||3%||4%|
|Staying away from home to protect my family||1%||2%|
9,331 staff, 12% of those completing the iMatter survey, said they had experienced 'Other' change, that is, something that they felt was not covered by the options provided with in the questionnaire.
- Changes mentioned that do not fit into the options in the questionnaire include:
- Increased workload and/or reduced resources available
- Promotion to a new job or newly qualified, completion of training, graduating etc.
- Pregnancy and parental leave
- Personal challenges including relationship breakdown
- Virtual, video or telephone patient appointments
- Management/supervisor changes, new team leaders
Change and Demographics
|% Experiencing Change|
|Under 35 years||64%|
|35 – 44 years||65%|
|45 – 54 years||65%|
|55 years and over||63%|
|Never married/civil partnership||62%|
|Disabled (Equality Act 2010)||72%|
|Church of Scotland||64%|
|Asian, Scottish Asian or British Asian||55%|
Overall, there is little difference in the proportion of staff experiencing change across the various demographic groups.
A summary of types of change experienced by various demographic groups is contained in Appendix 10. This shows some differences between some demographic groups. Not all groups are shown to protect anonymity of staff in small minority groups.
64% of staff who said they are female have experienced change since September 2020, compared to 61% of those who say they are male.
There is little difference in the proportion of staff experiencing change in each age group, though the type of change experienced does vary by age.
72% of those who say they are disabled within the definition of the Equality Act 2010 have been impacted by change in circumstances.
55% of staff who are Asian, Scottish Asian or British Asian say they have experienced change, compared to over 60% of staff of other ethnicities.
Change and Staff Grouping
71% of Local Authority Staff have experienced change, compared to 64% of NHSScotland staff. The table following illustrates how the level of change differs across the various groupings within Local Authority and NHSScotland staff.
Among NHSScotland staff, 70% of Senior Managers and Medical and Dental Support staff say they have experienced change. Health Science Services and Support Services are the least likely to say they have experienced change (53% and 54% respectively). Among Local Authority staff, the highest incidence of experiencing change is among Senior Managers, with 80% saying they have experienced change since September 2020. See Appendix 11 for further details.
|NHSScotland||% Experiencing Change||Local Authority||% Experiencing Change|
|Administrative Services||64%||Adult Services||72%|
|Allied Health Profession||66%||Business Services||71%|
|Ambulance Services||64%||Children's Services||70%|
|Health Science Services||53%||Criminal Justice||74%|
|Medical and Dental||61%||Older People Services||68%|
|Medical and Dental Support||70%||Senior Managers||80%|
|Nursing and Midwifery||66%||Strategic Development||71%|
|Personal and Social Care||61%|
63% of Health and Social Care staff have experienced change through 2021. Although down from 74% in 2020, the high proportion of staff still experiencing change in the work or personal circumstances reflect the impact the COVID-19 pandemic continues to have on staff lives.
Of all staff taking part in iMatter a quarter are working from home more than usual, a situation that looks set to continue into 2022. This, combined with the staff who have been reassigned, illustrates the workplace disruption still impacting staff.
Personal changes are led by school children at home, supporting vulnerable relatives and physical or mental ill-health.
Differences in the proportion of staff experiencing change, and the type of change, are seen across staff groupings, reflecting the differing nature of work being done. Some differences are seen, particularly in personal changes experienced, across various demographic groups.
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