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Full survey results: Annual health check on nursing 2015

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Find out the full results of our latest annual survey of the views of the nursing profession.

Nursing Times surveyed 960 nurses between 23 November and 11 December 2015 for our annual survey.

The questions covered a range of issues including staffing and workforce, and other current issues such as revalidation and the new “associate nurse” role. A big thank you to all our readers that took part in the survey.

Here are the full results from the survey, correct as of 15 December:

 

1. Do you have sufficient staff on your ward or in your team to ensure safe care is provided to patients?
 Yes, always  3.87%
 Yes, mostly  43.16%
 Yes, but rarely  34.90%
 No, never  18.08%

 

 2. Do staff on your ward or team have sufficient time to provide safe care to patients? 
 Yes, always  3.67%
 Yes, mostly  44.76%
 Yes, but rarely  40.46%
 No, never  11.11%

 

3. How would you rate staffing levels on your ward or team? 
 We are always short-staffed  33.09%
 We are short-staffed more than once a week  38.32%
 We are short-staffed once a week  12.88%
 We are short-staffed once a fortnight  3.77%
 We are short-staffed once a month  2.93%
 We are rarely short-staffed  7.96%
 We are never short-staffed  1.05%

 

4. Do you feel you are currently under more or less pressure at work than you were this time 12 months ago? 
 Significantly more  53.93%
 A bit more  26.18%
 About the same  13.61%
 A bit less  1.78%
Significantly less
 1.88%
 Don’t know  2.62%

 

5. Do staff on your ward or team have sufficient time to provide safe and adequate handover to colleagues?   
 Yes, always  14.30%
 Yes, mostly  53.52%
 Yes, but rarely  23.55%
 No, never  8.62%

 

6. Were necessary care activities left undone during your last shift due to lack of time?   
 No  23.04%
 Yes, one activity  25.34%
 Yes, two activities  23.25%
 Yes, three or more activities  16.58%
 Not relevant  11.78%

 

7. If you answered yes to the previous question, what type of care activity is most frequently left undone? 
 Comforting or talking with patients  25.54%
 Educating patients  9.38%
 Developing/updating nursing care plans  26.63%
 Patient observation  2.72%
 Direct clinical activity, eg change of dressing  17.53%
 Not relevant  18.21%

 

 8. Has your ward, unit or team got more or less permanent registered nursing staff than it did 12 months ago?  
 A lot more  3.15%
 A few more  14.50%
 The same  29.20%
 Slightly fewer  32.46%
 A lot fewer  20.69%

 

9. How easy or difficult has it been for your ward, unit or team to fill vacant nursing posts over the last 12 months? 
 It has been very easy to recruit new staff  2.93%
 It has been fairly easy to recruit new staff  16.32%
 It has been fairly difficult to recruit new staff  31.90%
 It has been very difficult to recruit new staff  25.84%
 It has been almost impossible to recruit new staff  12.55%
 Not applicable  10.46%

 

10. On an average shift, how many posts are filled by agency staff in your team or ward?  
 None  20.59%
 Less than a quarter  26.44%
 Around a quarter  18.70%
 Around a third  8.25%
 Around half  5.02%
 More than half  4.91%
 Don’t know  4.60%
 Not relevant  11.49%

 

 11. Have nurses from overseas been actively recruited by your employer to join your ward, unit or team over the last 12 months? 
 Yes  37.78%
 No  44.91%
 Don’t know  17.31%

 

 12. How appropriate is the balance of registered to unregistered nursing staff in your ward/team? 
 We always have a safe ratio of nurses to healthcare assistants  13.96%
 We usually have a safe ratio of nurses to healthcare assistants  31.16%
 At times we have a potentially unsafe ratio, with too many healthcare assistants  18.15%
 We often have a potentially unsafe ratio, with too many healthcare assistants  7.14%
 We always have a potentially unsafe ratio, with too many healthcare assistants  3.25%
 We could safely have more healthcare assistants and fewer nurses  3.04%
 Not sure  7.66%
 Not relevant  15.63%

 

13. Which length of shift do you normally work? 
 Always 8 hour shifts 32.52% 
 Always 12 hour shifts 36.98%
 Mostly 8 hour shifts, with occasional 12 hour shifts 14.88%
 Mostly 12 hour shifts, with occasional 8 hour shifts 11.37%
 A roughly equal number of both 8 and 12 hour shifts 4.25%

 

14. What do you think about moves to create a more defined role for senior healthcare assistants – probably at band 4 – who could be trained to take on more advanced care than other HCAs and potentially fast-tracked onto nursing degree courses? 
 Yes, I welcome the move  47.22%
 I’m not sure  36.41%
 No, I oppose the idea  16.37%

 

15. What do you think would result from the creation a more defined role for senior healthcare assistants (please tick all that apply)? 
 It will help develop the skills of HCAs  53.16%
 It will provide more support for nurses  50.84%
 It will help alleviate staffing problems  23.31%
It will create nurses ‘on the cheap’
 44.30%
It marks a return to state enrolled nurses
 41.14%
 It will confuse patients about roles  26.16%
 It will put patient safety at risk  18.35%

 

16. How best would you describe morale in your ward, unit or team over the past 12 months?  
 Bad and getting worse  35.57%
 Bad and always has been  7.97%
 Bad but starting to improve  10.60%
 Neither good nor bad  13.12%
 Good but starting to deteriorate  21.93%
 Good and always has been  7.56%
 Good and getting better  3.25%

 

17. Do you believe your organisation is prepared for the coming winter? 
 Yes, it will be business as usual 18.20% 
 Yes, but it will be touch and go  23.74%
 No, we will struggle to provide a safe service all of the time  34.21%
 No, we will be unable to provide a safe service all of the time  11.19%
 Don’t know  8.68%
 Not applicable  3.97%

 

18. What is the biggest challenge facing nursing in the NHS at the moment? 
 Short staffing  44.09%
 Poor staff pay  15.30%
 Winter pressures  4.11%
 Poor media portrayal  4.75%
 NHS financial pressures  26.37%
 Revalidation  5.38%

 

19. Have you seriously considered leaving the nursing profession over the last 12 months? 
 Yes  70.05%
 No  29.95%

 

 20. If you answered yes to the previous question, what is your main reason for seriously considering leaving nursing? 
 Upcoming retirement  7.32%
 Overwork and pressure  66.20%
 Poor levels of pay  12.15%
 Introduction of revalidation  4.83%
 Too much paperwork  6.70%
 Poor media portrayal  2.80%

 

21. How would you rate your personal awareness of revalidation, the new system of competency checks that are being introduced by the Nursing and Midwifery Council from next April? 
 Very aware, I’m definitely ready  18.45%
 Fairly aware, I’m on the way to being ready  52.41%
 Slightly aware, I’ve heard of it but that’s all  21.91%
 Not sure  4.82%
 Not aware, I’ve not heard of it at all  2.41%

 

22. How do you view the introduction of revalidation generally?  
 It will be good for patient safety and the status of nursing  28.66%
 It will be good for patient safety but not the status of nursing  8.85%
 It will be good for the status of nursing but have no impact on patient safety  13.49%
 It will have no impact on patient safety or the status of nursing  25.71%
 It will damage the status of nursing and have no impact on patient safety  5.37%
 I’m not sure  17.91%

 

23. How do you rate the amount of support you have received from your employer to meet the requirements of revalidation? 
 My employer has already put in place an excellent level of support  8.06%
 My employer has put in place an adequate level of support  21.36%
 My employer has put in place some support but could do more  27.85%
 My employer has provided no support but says it plans to in future  16.13%
 My employer has provided no support and has not mentioned it yet  13.72%
 Not sure  7.33%
 Not relevant  5.55%

 

25. Which of the following best describes your role? 
 Student nurse  5.81%
 Healthcare assistant  2.08%
 Staff nurse or equivalent  44.41%
 Ward sister/charge nurse/team leader  17.32%
 Clinical nurse specialist/nurse practitioner  17.00%
 Matron or other senior nurse manager  7.79%
 Nurse educator/trainer or academic  4.28%
 Director of nursing/chief nurse or deputy  1.32%

 

26. Which of the following best describes the setting you work in? 
 NHS acute hospital  52.59%
 NHS community services  15.98%
 NHS mental health services  5.83%
 GP surgery or healthcare centre  3.78%
 Nursing or care home  7.34%
 Private hospital or other independent sector setting  6.59%
 Charity/not-for-profit/social enterprise  3.13%
 Clinical commissioning group  0.76%
 University or academia  2.27%
 Government or other national agency  1.73%

 

27. How old are you? 
 17-25  5.45%
 26-35  11.53%
 36-45  26.42%
 46-55  40.25%
 Over 55  16.35%

 

28. Which country do you work in? 
 England  79.22%
 Northern Ireland  1.38%
 Scotland  7.42%
 Wales  4.45%
 Overseas  7.53%
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