NHS staff believing career progression is fair at work for all staff

Published

1. Main facts and figures

  • in 2018, 84% of NHS staff said that their NHS trust gave all staff an equal chance of promotion or career progression
  • 86% of White staff said that their NHS trust gave all staff an equal chance of promotion or career progression, compared with 70% of staff from the Other ethnic group (all other ethnic groups combined)
  • in all regions of England, and all types of NHS trust, White staff were more likely than staff from the Other ethnic group to say that their trust gave all staff an equal chance of promotion or career progression
Things you need to know

This data shows whether NHS staff thought there was fairness in career progression or promotion in their NHS trust amongst all staff. It does not show whether they felt that they had been treated fairly personally. A member of staff from one ethnic group who sees unfair treatment of a member of staff from another ethnic group may therefore report a perception of unfairness, even if they themselves have been treated fairly.

All NHS trusts have to take part in the NHS Staff Survey, but the number of survey respondents varies between them. Caution should be used when comparing trusts where the results are based on a small number of respondents.

The survey was completed by staff in 230NHS trusts. Data from 5 of the trusts was excluded from this analysis because they had fewer than 11 respondents from the ‘Other’ ethnic group (that is, staff from all ethnic groups except the White ethnic group), making the results unreliable. This means the percentages shown here are based on 225 trusts (97%), with a total of 497,117 respondents.

Some trusts selected a sample of staff to take part in the survey, while others invited all their staff to respond. Where a trust selected a sample, the sample may not have been representative of all staff in that trust. Staff who completed the survey might have had different experiences at work than staff who didn’t do so only includes staff who said what their ethnicity was. Staff from some ethnic groups might have been less likely to report their ethnicity or reply to certain survey questions. Therefore, the results may not be representative of all staff working for NHS trusts. No adjustments have been made to the results to compensate for any possible biases.

There is a unknown margin of error around all the estimates presented, so the percentages have been rounded to the nearest whole number. The commentary excludes any differences observed in the data of a few percentage points, as they may not indicate real differences. It is possible that some of the larger differences observed in the data, including those which we have commented on, are also within the margin of error, but we’re not able to assess this.

What the data measures

This data shows the percentage of people who, when responding to the NHS Staff Survey in 2018, said their organisation provides equal opportunities for career progression or promotion for all staff.

This data is based on responses to the annual NHS staff survey. Key finding 21 shows the percentage of staff believing that trust provides equal opportunities for career progression or promotion.

Data is also presented for 4 broad regions in England and 4 types of NHS trust.

The regions are:

  • London (covering Greater London)
  • Midlands (covering the West Midlands, the East Midlands and the East of England)
  • North (covering the North West, the North East, and Yorkshire and the Humber)
  • South (covering the South East and the South West)

The types of NHS trust are:

  • hospital (also known as acute)
  • ambulance
  • community provider
  • mental health

The data does not include staff working in:

  • independent (non-NHS) healthcare providers
  • social enterprises
  • arm’s length bodies
  • clinical commissioning groups (CCGs)
The ethnic categories used in this data

For this data, ethnicity is broken down into 2 broad ethnic groups:

  • White – including White British and White ethnic minorities)
  • Other – all other ethnic minorities

This is to be consistent with other Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES) data. This ethnicity classification was used for all previous WRES reports, so using the same classification allows for comparisons with previous years. It also helps to increase the reliability of the data.

2. By ethnicity and area

Percentage of NHS staff who said their trust gave all staff an equal chance of promotion or career progression, by ethnicity and area
Geography All White Other
% % %
England 84 86 70
London 77 83 66
Midlands 84 86 71
North 86 87 74
South 86 87 74

Download table data for ‘By ethnicity and area’ (CSV) Source data for ‘By ethnicity and area’ (CSV)

Summary of NHS staff believing career progression is fair at work for all staff By ethnicity and area Summary

This data shows that:

  • in 2018, 84% of NHS staff said that their trust gave all staff an equal chance of promotion or career progression
  • 86% of White staff said that their trust gave all staff an equal chance of promotion or career progression, compared with 70% of staff from the Other ethnic group (all other ethnic groups combined)
  • nationally and in each of the 4 regions, White staff were around 1.2 times as likely as staff from the Other ethnic group to say that their trust gave all staff an equal chance of promotion or career progression

3. By ethnicity and type of trust

Percentage of NHS staff who said their trust gave all staff an equal chance of promotion or career progression, by ethnicity and type of trust
Trust Type All White Other
% % %
Acute Trust 84 87 70
Ambulance Trust 71 71 56
Community Provider Trust 89 91 69
Mental Health Trust 85 87 71

Download table data for ‘By ethnicity and type of trust’ (CSV) Source data for ‘By ethnicity and type of trust’ (CSV)

Summary of NHS staff believing career progression is fair at work for all staff By ethnicity and type of trust Summary

This data shows that:

  • out of all types of NHS trust, ambulance trusts had the lowest percentage of staff from both ethnic groups who said their trust gave all staff an equal chance of promotion or career progression – 71% of White staff and 56% of staff from the Other ethnic group did so
  • in community provider, mental health, and hospital (acute) trusts, between 87% and 91% of White staff said their trust gave all staff an equal chance of promotion or career progression, compared with between 69% and 71% of staff from the Other ethnic group
  • a higher percentage of White staff said their trust gave all staff an equal chance of promotion or career progression, compared with staff from the Other ethnic group, in 146 out of 148 acute (hospital) trusts, 9 out of 11 ambulance trusts, 51 out of 53 mental health trusts, and 18 out of 18 community provider trusts

4. Methodology

304 NHS organisations took part in the staff survey, including 230 NHS trusts. In 7 trusts, there were fewer than 11 responses from staff in the Other ethnic group, and so the results have not been included.

Staff were sent a paper questionnaire or an email containing a link to an online questionnaire. 497,117 staff completed the questionnaire between October and December 2018, an overall response rate of 46%.

There are 4 questions related to the Workforce Race Equality Standard in the staff survey.

The survey was administered by the Survey Coordination Centre on behalf of NHS England.

Suppression rules and disclosure control

The data doesn’t include figures from trusts where fewer than 11 staff from either the White or Other ethnic group responded to the survey.

Rounding

Percentages are given to the nearest whole number. You can see unrounded figures if you download the data.

Related publications

Technical guide to the 2018 staff survey data

5. Data sources

Source

Type of data

Survey data

Type of statistic

Official statistics

Publisher

NHS England

Publication frequency

Yearly

Purpose of data source

The purpose of the Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES) is to collect information on differences in the experience and treatment of NHS staff depending on their ethnicity, with a view to reducing these differences.

The NHS Staff Survey has been conducted every year since 2003. It asks NHS staff in England about their experiences of working for the NHS. The survey provides information about staff experience across the NHS in England and aims to highlight it to stakeholders and employers. All NHS trusts have to take part in the survey.

6. Download the data

NHS staff believing career progression is fair at work for all staff - Spreadsheet (csv) 317 KB

Measure, Year, NHS_trust, NHS_trust_code, Ethnicity, Ethnicity_type, Geography, Geography_type, NHS_trust_type, Value, Value_type, Numerator, Denominator