Hospice Survey

Welcome to Birdsong’s Hospice Survey. On this page you can read our Guidance Notes to help you while considering and planning your survey. At the bottom of the page you will find the Hospice Survey Registration link.

Read our Guidance Notes

We have produced a document to help you through the survey process. This document tells you about timings, options and costs. It also includes the list of survey questions and some useful tips.

Click to download…


Here is a list of Frequently Asked Questions made by the many hospices with whom we’ve worked in previous years. If your question isn’t answered here then please make contact with Emma via emma@birdsong.co.uk or call us on 01858 525258. We’ll be happy to help.

“I’m completely new to this – where do I start?”

The Hospice Survey that Birdsong run provides hospices with a cost-effective means of seeking staff and/or volunteer opinions about their roles and their workplace. It enables benchmarking against the other hospices taking part, providing hospices a powerful way to keep in touch with -and act upon- how their people are thinking and feeling.

The survey questionnaire is completed via a web-based survey link, which you pass on to your people. Hard copy questionnaires can be provided for individuals who do not have access to the internet.

Our helpful Guidance Notes provide all of the information you’ll need to get started.

Take a look at an example Hospice Survey report.

Click to download…

Click the link below to sample a test version of the survey.

Click to view the test survey…

The All Hospices benchmark is derived from the combined responses of all the hospices taking part in this summer’s survey. As standard, all hospices receive an Overall Results report comparing their survey results with the All Hospices benchmark.

In 2018 we introduced an additional benchmark: The Top Performers benchmark. This benchmark provides a comparison for hospices wanting to challenge themselves a little more. It is based on the survey results of the Top 40 performing Birdsong staff surveys of the last three years. If this is of interest to your hospice, a separate Top Performers report can be selected during the survey registration process.

Our ‘Data Management and Security’ document on our website covers the area of anonymity for survey respondents in great detail. You will be asked to view and agree to this policy at the time of registration.

You can also assure respondents that, as per our standard practice, no member of the charity will ever have access to an individual’s set of responses from us – and we will not break down responses into groups fewer than seven in our reporting, even in department comparisons.

If you have selected adding ‘open questions’ to your survey you will receive a verbatim comments report where some people may have chosen to write something that could identify them. Comments will only be reported at organisational level and not broken down into department or other categories.  It is a good idea to tell your staff at the very beginning of the process who at your organisation will end up seeing this report of the individual comments made so that you’re clear with them on this, but also to assure them that the comments made will not be attributable to any individual unless they choose to make them so in their writing (i.e. by naming themselves or their specific job role). 

Every hospice’s survey results are confidential to them. Birdsong never releases survey information that could allow an individual to be identified. 

Each hospice taking part in the survey will see a list of this year’s participating hospices, but nothing else. Hospice UK will also see the list of participating hospices.


“I am taking the Hospice Survey in 2020. What should I know?”

The timetable for the 2020 main survey period is as follows:

  • Hospice Survey registration is open for a month from 16th March until 17th April (during this time – in addition to the information you can find on these FAQ pages – Emma will be on hand to answer any questions or provide any support you might need to register with your chosen options)
  • We will send your survey links for testing to you by 1st May
  • You test and confirm with us by 6th May. We will then have time for any final amendments or additions you might need
  • The Hospice Survey is live for six working weeks from Monday 11th May – Friday 19th June. We recommend you choose a three week period within these dates to promote the survey to your staff/volunteers.
  • Your main survey reports will be sent to you by Friday 24th July at the latest
  • If you have selected an in-depth Findings Report in addition to your main reports, we will communicate with you at the point of registration regarding the date that this can be completed for you.

Organisations can take the Hospice Survey at any time on a standalone basis (and still benefit from having the benchmark as comparison) and thus you have the flexibility to select a time of year that best suits your organisation. As a rule of thumb it’s great if you can register at least three weeks in advance of when you’d like your survey to begin. And you can register much further ahead than this too if you are already clear on the dates you need.

Taking the Hospice Survey outside of the main spring/summer period means that we can’t offer you the special £150+VAT discount from the core survey cost, but all other prices remain the same. (NB: At whatever time of year, we offer each of the optional sub-analysis survey reports to hospices with a discount of between £25 – £100 per report (depending on the type of report), compared to our standard prices for other charities – see our section on pricing below.)

Before you register, we would recommend that you have a read-through our Guidelines Notes to refresh your memory on the survey process. You may also like to scan your eyes over all of the other FAQs in this section, to make sure all your concerns are met.

Some of our survey questions have changed a little and we have also altered our opinion scale slightly. These changes are detailed in the FAQ that follows this one.

Please also take the time to consider whether our additional survey options may be of help to you. 

Once you are ready to go, please click on the ‘Registration’ link at the bottom of this page.

“How much does it cost for my hospice to take part?”

We provide a discount of £150+VAT for all hospices who choose to take the survey during our main Hospice Survey period in late Spring/early Summer. This means that the core cost for taking the survey and receiving an Overall Results report is £325+VAT in the spring/summer main period, and it is £475+VAT at any other time of year.

There is a fixed price structure for the survey reports, with various options available at additional cost. The details of these are set out in Appendix 1 of the Guidance Notes.

In addition, we offer consultancy services to support you after you have received your survey results. The pricing for these services is also detailed in the appendix of our Guidance Notes.

The same price structure applies to both staff and volunteer surveys.

At whatever time of year, we offer each of the optional sub-analysis survey reports to hospices with a discount of between £25 – £100 per report (depending on the type of report), compared to our standard prices for other charities.

The registration process itself guides you through the available selections and clearly indicates prices for each additional report or breakdown as you go through it. 

The core cost of the survey doesn’t increase at all with numbers of staff/volunteers, so, if you are taking the survey at the summer discounted time the core cost will be £325+VAT and if you take it at another time of year it will be £475+VAT. If you require separate reports for your staff and volunteers at the overall level (i.e. one overall report for all staff, and one for all volunteers) then this would add £200+VAT to the core price.

“I need help choosing the right survey option for my hospice…”

We offer a volunteer version of Hospice Survey which is structured in such a way that it has a similar to feel to the staff version, and has many similar questions to enable comparison of data. This means your survey can be taken by Paid staff only, Volunteers only or a combination of both. Survey questions are worded appropriately depending on which of the above groups is chosen.

We can provide a special volunteers link through which to take the survey so that they receive the same questions but worded for volunteers. This link automatically misses out questions (ie those relating to pay etc) that aren’t relevant to volunteers.

If you would like separate reporting for your Volunteer survey (as opposed to combining your staff and volunteer responses), you should budget for an amount equivalent to your staff survey. There will in fact be a small saving, as we do not charge the full amount for a second Overall Results report (It is £150 + VAT rather than £325 + VAT). 

The remaining costs are the same as the staff survey charges and are set out in Appendix I of our Guidance Notes. 

We always offer the opportunity to add ‘open questions’ at the end of the survey and these can be worded in any way that you wish. The cost for adding three open questions is £150 plus VAT, as per the guidance notes document. We normally recommend adding up to 3 open questions but if you do wish to add more let us know as we can give you a quote separately for adding one or two more in addition if needed.

We do also offer bespoke surveys, starting from a core survey cost of £1950 +VAT, if you require a specifically tailored approach. 

We offer a range of sub analyses options.

You can further analyse your results by choosing from the following comparison reports:

  • Top Performers
  • Previous years
  • Staff / volunteers
  • Managers / Non-managers
  • Clinical areas / Non-clinical areas
  • Length of service
  • Location
  • Department

In addition, you can specify custom sub-analyses unique to your hospice. This could be, for example, to analyse the responses from different job types.

Please note that if you specify a sub-analysis that has more than three categories (for example, you specified a department sub-analysis and there are four or more departments), then the report will be produced in a tabular rather than graphical form.

Please do not identify individual categories that are likely to have fewer than 10 respondents as this could compromise the anonymity of responses.


We are able to produce Previous Years’ Comparison reports at a later stage, as well as separate ‘volunteer’ or ‘staff vs volunteer’ comparisons. However, if you did not select sub-analyses at the point of registration we regret that we are not able add this afterwards.

Yes, we can add an extra section to your survey if you would like to gather non-compulsory and anonymous information from your staff and/or volunteers about their age, disability status, ethnicity, gender, religion and/or belief and their sexual orientation. We have added an option on the registration form where you can select to add our set of diversity questions to the end of your survey to receive a standalone equality and diversity report – the data within this report will not be linked to your survey data. The base cost for this service is £500+VAT.

If we at Birdsong carry out the data capture for you it is £3+VAT per questionnaire that we receive back by post to enter into your survey. If you enter the data yourselves we provide you a data capture link for free and there is just a flat fee of £50+VAT for us to produce a pdf copy of the questionnaire for you to use to hand out to your teams.

“I have a question about the running of our survey…”

Give your staff and/or volunteers advance notice that the survey will be taking place and tell them why you would like them to take part. We also suggest pre-writing your launch email so that it’s quick for you to send out the link on the day of your launch. It’s important to include any specific messages for your colleagues about why you are conducting the survey – and when they will see the results – in your launch email. It is also important to let them know who will see the comments they make in response to the open questions. 

This is a link to a word document with draft wording that you can use to edit if you would like to. If you have done the survey multiple times before you won’t need this, as you will have your own communications set up already around the survey. 

A healthy response rate can be cultivated by publicising the survey through, for example, notice boards, intranet, staff forums and simply by asking managers to encourage their teams to take part. It is also helpful to send out reminder emails to further encourage responses. The final week of the survey is a particularly good time to do this.

Before your survey begins, you’ll receive from us a Response Monitoring Link. You can check this at any time to see a live count of staff responses. 

To maintain confidentiality and anonymity of respondents, we do not limit access to the Hospice Survey questionnaire. Here are our reasons for this decision:

  • The only way to guarantee one survey response per individual is to send out a personalised invitation to each person with a unique link to the survey. We do not favour this approach because it impairs the perception of survey confidentiality, which reduces response rates and inhibits honest feedback.
  • The other option to limit multiple responses is through the use of browser cookies. We do not take this approach because it is very easy for participants to get around this by using multiple devices. Furthermore, many server environments delete cookies or prevent them from being used.

If an individual wants to take the survey more than once (and most, of course, do not), it is rarely a critical problem for a charity. They are not precise exercises and your respondents’ responses will vary depending on, for example:

  • Their mood on the day
  • Any significant activities taking place within your charity when the survey is running. For example, reorganisations typically increase concerns about job security.
  • External drivers, such as national or international events in the news.

Staff and volunteer surveys are designed to provide a guide to future organisational development and the response data should be considered in that context.


What happens after our survey closes?

We will produce the reports as soon as possible following the close of the survey. You will be informed of the exact date during our email correspondence with you as well as through notifications on our website.

Yes, each hospice’s results will be included in Birdsong’s All Hospices benchmark. Any top performing hospices will also be included in Birdsong’s Top Performers benchmark.

Birdsong provides you with clear graphical reports, based on many years of experience. We are always on hand to help you interpret these if you need.

At Birdsong we believe that a staff survey is just the beginning of a journey to improve staff satisfaction and engagement. The next steps after a survey are typically to investigate the issues raised by staff and agree priorities for action.

Feeding back on the things that will be changed as a result of the survey, and/or finding supportive ways to ‘continue the conversation’ will be a positive way of building on and developing this proactive approach. Welcoming the involvement of staff and/or volunteers in addressing challenging areas (in fact, especially for those areas that may be hardest to change) can also prove particularly beneficial and can help nurture a productive and supportive organisational culture.

Registering to take part

Click the link below to register to take the survey. Please read the guidance notes above before you register.



Please get in touch with us on 01858 525258 for any further help. Otherwise we will get in touch with you, after we receive your registration. 

Contact Birdsong on 01858 525258 / info@birdsong.co.uk