Useful Background Information for the NHS Healthy Workforce Survey

1. NHS Healthy Workforce Survey

The NHS Healthy Workforce Survey is a NHS England initiative. The University of Cambridge and RAND Europe CIC are academic partners, responsible for designing and running surveys, as well as analysis.

2. Purpose of the NHS Healthy Workforce Survey

i) Through the NHS Healthy Workforce Survey, we hope to gain a better understanding of the health risks faced by UK health organisations on a longitudinal basis, with specific emphasis on the productivity impact of chronic diseases or lifestyle, as well as to understand how the workplace can be used to change employee lifestyle behaviour. We will also look at the availability of wellness facilities in the workplace and how often employees engage in healthy behaviour and activities.

ii) For employers, the aim of the NHS Healthy Workforce Survey is to create awareness around their employees' health, health risks and the overall health risks by specific lifestyle determinants or wellness indicators. The NHS Healthy Workforce Survey will provide tailored recommendations to improve the health risk profile of an organisation’s employee population.

3. Participation

i) Participation is free.

ii) Organisations will be asked to complete an online Organisational Health Assessment which will ask for details including workforce demographics, and health and wellbeing initiatives that take place within the organisation.

iii) Participating employees will complete an Employee Health Assessment which will ask questions about their general health, lifestyle behaviours, mental health status, and their work environment. To be eligible for participation, employees must be at least 18 years of age.

4. Criteria for entry

i) Employees will be asked to confirm their full work email address to verify their participation. Using work email addresses helps with analysis, although participants may also be able to use a personal email account.

ii) The analysis of the NHS Healthy Workforce survey would benefit from a high response rate, which helps to add statistical significance to the results. As such, we hope organisations will make good efforts to maximise the numbers of participation rates. Participating organisations will also be asked to confirm the number of individuals that the survey has been distributed to.

iii) NHS England would like to name the organisations that participated, but organisations can be listed anonymously if they wish.

iv) The Employee Health Assessment should be sent to full-time and part-time employees. It is at the discretion of the participating organisation whether to send to short term contracted and temporary staff.

v) The participating organisation has the option of having the research provide detail about different sites or categories of employees. As such, one organisation may have more than one weblink that it is required to distribute to staff.

5. Checklist for participating organisations

Data collection for the NHS Healthy Workforce Survey will take place in May 2016. The organisation representative can help NHS Healthy Workforce Survey be ready for data collection by doing the following:

i) Complete the Organisational Health Assessment which will include questions about employee demographics, wellness facilities and how the organisation is investing in the health of its employees.

ii) Ensure that all employees are able to access the online questionnaire.

iii) Email employees to notify them of the organisation's participation in the initiative. A template will be provided that outlines:

  1. The importance of participation
  2. Explicit guarantees around confidentiality of data for those employees who participate

iv) Encourage employees to complete the Employee Health Assessment.

6. Outcomes

i) Employees who submit completed Health Assessments will each receive a Personal Health Report detailing their risk categories.

ii) Participating organisations will receive an Organisational Health Report which will provide them with a holistic view of their employees' wellbeing, as well as unique benchmarking information that can be used to inform future HR and People strategies.

7. Confidentiality and data protection

The NHS Healthy Workforce Survey keeps all personal data confidential and will not publicise any personal data. More specific detail are provided below.

i) NHS England, initiators of the NHS Healthy Workforce Survey, are particularly concerned with data protection. They are fully committed to compliance with the Data Protection Act 1998 and ensuring the legal duty to protect any information collected from organisations or employees is met. They have arranged for a number of procedures to be implemented to meet this commitment.

ii) As the principal contractor running and analysing the NHS Healthy Workforce Survey, RAND Europe CIC is registered with the Data Protection Commissioner. It has a data protection policy in place, and requires its staff to sign a statement that they have read and understood this, as well as requiring them to complete annual information security awareness training and sign non-disclosure agreements.

iii) Organisations’ employee information, Organisational Health Assessment, and Employee Health Assessment responses will be held by RAND Europe CIC and its data collection partner, Survey Sampling UK Limited (SSI). SSI operate within the Market Research Society code of conduct. Any personal details will not be shared with any other party than RAND Europe CIC. All data will be held strictly in accordance with EU and UK law.

iv) All information submitted through the assessments will be used only for research purposes. Responses will be kept confidential and will not in any way be used to identify individuals. Any electronic transmission of individually identifiable data will be encrypted.

v) The Organisational Health Report will display employee responses in a consolidated format so that individual responses cannot be matched to personal identifiers such as names, post codes, email addresses or dates of birth.

vi) NHS England will only receive the survey results in an anonymous and consolidated format and will not have access to any personal employee data.

vii) By participating in the NHS Healthy Workforce Survey, organisations and their employees agree and give consent to RAND Europe CIC and SSI holding and analysing sensitive personal and health information.

viii) Findings derived from aggregating all responses may be made publicly available via reports and research articles.

ix) The sponsors of the NHS Healthy Workforce survey reserve the right to use data from repeat participants to compare data across years. This will only be done for participants who agree to this in the relevant section of the Employee Health Assessment.

x) Participating organisations and employees consent to the use of cookies on the survey websites.

8. Ending your participation in the initiative

i) Employees can stop participating at any time, without any benefit or disadvantage. We will send organisations an Organisational Health Report only if they complete the Organisational Health Assessment and achieve the minimum employee response rate.

ii) NHS England reserves the right to end the initiative at any time.

9. Employee questions or comments

i) Your organisation’s chief executive, Chair or HR Director has approved your organisation's participation in this initiative. Please contact your HR or Occupational Health department if you have any questions.

ii) If you don't find the answer you are looking for here, please email the support team at NHS England at or Alternatively, you can send any questions or comments to