Commencing in Spring 2019, the evaluation of the Nursing Associate (NA) role by the NIHR Policy
Research Unit in Health and Social Care Workforce (HSCWRU), King’s College London, has to date
completed and reported on: a series of expert interviews and two NHS Trust case studies. It also
administered a survey to Trusts over a year ago in 2019 and, given the continued roll-out of the NA
role in changing and challenging times, it was deemed timely to conduct a repeat survey at the end
of 2020. This repeat survey was undertaken independently from but in partnership with Health
Education England (HEE), which provided support in developing the questionnaire and in distributing
it to potential respondents across NHS England.
The 2020 survey reported here was administered in the context of unprecedented pressures faced by
the NHS, and a reminder email to potential respondents planned for early 2021 was cancelled to
avoid any undue distraction from care delivery. Despite these challenges, we received responses
from a third of Trusts in NHS England and, given the remarkably difficult circumstances, we are most
grateful to those senior managers and other staff able to respond.