Before the survey

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Birdsong is committed to ensuring that our surveys and reporting services provide charities with the most pertinent data in user-friendly formats.  In line with this, we carried out a full review of the Hospice Survey in October 2019 and also sought insight from hospice HR-leads on priority areas of questioning for 2020 onwards.

A set of enhancements to the Survey have since been developed by Birdsong. These include an increased focus on staff well-being, more opportunity to measure perceptions of inclusion and diversity, further analysis of staff engagement levels, and the production of a shorter volunteer-version of the survey. These changes have been prepared in such a way as to allow for continued and unhindered comparison with previous years. 

You can see the detail about all the changes for 2020 below:

Timing – this has been revised in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

In response to the current uncertainty created by the COVID-19 outbreak, we have taken active steps to ensure that we can offer your hospice much more flexibility in terms of this year’s Hospice Survey time period. We know many of you are keen to take the survey this year and we want to make sure we help you do this in a way to best suit your organisation.

We have extended the survey period so you can choose to run the survey for your hospice anytime between 11th May and 18th December 2020. The end deadline could be further extended – we will review this in light of COVID-19 developments.

As originally planned, the survey registration has been open from 16th March 2020. You can register at any time, even if it is for a date later in the year. Please remember that you will need at least four weeks’ notice before your intended survey launch date – the earliest possible launch date is in line with our original planned opening of 11th May 2020.

We will liaise with you individually regarding reporting dates for the individual time period you select on the registration. You have the flexibility to change your dates when you fill in your registration. Just keep in touch with us so that we can best support you and keep our schedule updated.

Even better value for money

We are adding value for 2020 and are not increasing pricing from 2019 levels.

The core survey cost will now include new analysis within the Overall Results survey report at no extra charge.

This year we will apply the discount that is usually reserved for hospices taking the survey within the main spring/summer period to every hospice taking the survey this year, regardless of when you choose to actually run your survey (see revised timings information, above).

Change to the Opinion Scale

We have enhanced the survey opinion scale to improve clarity between neutral and no-opinion responses.

This means that we have:

  • Changed the use of the existing term ‘neutral’ to become ‘neither agree nor disagree’
  • Added a sixth option* at the end of the scale that allows the respondent to select a ‘don’t know’ answer.


These steps will allow increased clarity between those respondents who are genuinely neutral in their opinion and those who don’t have enough information to answer the question or who feel it is not relevant or applicable to them.

*Adding a sixth answer option will also enable an additional reporting element regarding staff engagement levels.

Changes to the questionnaire

We have strengthened and tightened the survey structure by renewing question-wording and reducing overall survey length.

We have:

  • Added a set of new questions to the survey, increasing the focus on staff well-being.
  • Significantly reshaped the wording of some existing questions to strengthen their purpose, sharpen clarity and update the terminology used.
  • Removed questions that are no longer relevant, that contain some ambiguity, and/or that are superseded by new wording.


The above steps has resulted in a reduction of the questionnaire length (to 40 core questions) with a leaner feel to help encourage healthy response rates.

Results reporting

We are developing the Overall Results reporting for each hospice, providing additional analysis around staff engagement.

We will add:

  • A Birdsong overall staff engagement measure at organisational-level to every Overall Results report (at no additional cost). This will be derived from key indicator questions within the survey.
  • A standalone chart to show topic relevance and engagement for survey respondents at organisational level. This will provide hospices with numeric information regarding which questions across the survey have not been answered / left blank, and which questions have been answered as ‘don’t know’.
 

These developments will be added to the existing ‘survey headlines’ section in the Overall Results report. We will design this section so that it can be easily ‘lifted’ from the report if required to provide headline-only feedback to executives, trustees and stakeholders.

Volunteer participation

We have redesigned our volunteer survey to increase relevance and reduce length, retaining the elements valued by hospices who use the existing volunteer version.

The new volunteer survey is:

  • Reduced in overall length (to 30 questions) and question-topics are streamlined to amplify pertinence to volunteers and volunteering.
  • Reworded in relevant areas in line with the updates made to the main staff survey for 2020, enabling continued effective comparison of staff vs volunteer data for hospices who wish to receive this.
 

The reporting options remain the same as last year, but it could be helpful to refresh your memory by reading the other FAQs below and also to look back at the options you had last time and consider if these fully met the needs of your organisation. If your organisation performed particularly well against the benchmark you might perhaps want to opt for a Top Performers benchmark comparison too if you want to push your organisation that little bit harder. Also remember that if it was the first time you did a survey with us last year, you can have a Previous Years analysis this year to track progress.

N.B. The timescales for taking the Hospice Survey 2020 have been revised  in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

In response to the current uncertainty created by the COVID-19 outbreak, we have taken active steps to ensure that we can offer your hospice a much heightened level of flexibility, in terms of this year’s Hospice Survey time period. We know many of you are keen to take the survey this year and we want to make sure we help you do this in a way to best suit your organisation. Here are the dates you need to know.

  • We have extended the survey period so you can choose to run the survey for your hospice anytime between 11th May and 18th December 2020. The end deadline could be further extended – we will review this in light of COVID-19 developments.
  • As originally planned, the survey registration has been open from 16th March 2020. We need at least four weeks’ notice before your intended survey launch date (the earliest possible launch date is in line with our original planned opening of 11th May 2020) but you can register at any time, even if it is for a date a few months ahead.
  • In addition to the information you can find on these FAQ pages – Emma (emma@birdsong.co.uk) will be on hand to answer any questions or provide any support you might need to register with your chosen options).
  • We will liaise with you individually regarding reporting dates for the individual time period you select on the registration. You have the flexibility to change the dates you indicate at registration later on, should you need to. Just keep in touch with us so that we can best support you and keep our schedule updated.
  • 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. 
Core cost of the survey:

Prices have not increased since 2019. This year we will apply the £150+VAT discount that is usually reserved for hospices taking the survey within the main spring/summer period, to everyone who takes the survey this year, regardless of when you choose to actually run your survey.

This means that the core cost for taking the survey and receiving an Overall Results report is £325+VAT. Registering early (even months in advance) does not commit you to a time period but helps us to schedule and plan how we can best support all hospices who wish to take the Hospice Survey this year despite any uncertainty currently caused by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Extra options:

If you would like to sub-analyse your survey data (i.e. by department, location, length of service or another category) or if you would like a Findings Report or to add open questions to your survey, the costs are added on to the core cost of the survey report by report. You can see the fixed pricing structure for this in the next FAQ. All prices are the same as for 2019.

The choices you make will depend on the size and structure of your organisation – some smaller organisations will be amply informed by the Overall Results report alone and will not require additional breakdowns. You can find out more about the reporting options in the next FAQ or in our Guidance Notes.

There is a fixed price structure for the survey sub-analysis reports, with various options available at additional cost. The registration process itself guides you through the available options and clearly indicates prices for each additional report as you go through it.

The same price structure applies to both staff and volunteer surveys and the costs do not increase with the numbers of respondents you are asking to take part.

All the costs detailed below exclude VAT, which is charged at the standard rate of 20%.

Core survey cost

Overall Results report
with All Hospices benchmark
comparison. Price includes full set-up, support, survey management and reporting.

£325 – Spring/Summer

£475 – other times of year

Optional reports

 

Separate report for volunteers. (N.B. In cases where hospices have both staff and volunteers taking a survey but do not wish to combine their data).

£150

See the next FAQ for information on including volunteers in your survey

Staff / Volunteers
comparison

£100

Managers
/ Non-managers comparison

£100

Clinical
areas / Non-clinical comparison

£100

Length
of service comparison

£150
– £200

See Note 1 below

Location
comparison

£150
– £300

See Note 2 below

Department
comparison

£150
– £300

See Note 2 below

Custom
sub analyses

£150
– £300

See Note 2 below

Verbatim
comments report

£125

Three ‘open questions’ are added to the survey to gather narrative responses

Previous
years comparison

£150

£200

Two years of comparisons
Three years of comparisons

Top
Performers benchmark comparison

£200

For organisations who have performed strongly against our benchmark

Other services

PDF version of the
questionnaire

£50

For printing out paper copies

Inputting
hard copy responses

£3

Per questionnaire

Comments
Summary Report

From £375

 

Findings
report

From £750

 

Staff
presentation/workshops

From £750

Services dependent on location

Note 1 – The report
cost depends on the number of reporting categories
:

Note 2 – The report cost depends on the number of
reporting categories:

Up to three:  £150

 Up to three: £150

Up to six:     £200

Up to six: £200

 

Up to nine: £250

 

Up to twelve: £300

There is a fixed price structure for the survey sub-analysis reports, with various options available at additional cost. The registration process itself guides you through the available options and clearly indicates prices for each additional report as you go through it.

The same price structure applies to both staff and volunteer surveys and the costs do not increase with the numbers of respondents you are asking to take part.

All the costs detailed below exclude VAT, which is charged at the standard rate of 20%.

Core survey cost

 

 

Including full set up, support, management of the survey plus an Overall Results report with All Hospices benchmark comparison.

£325 – This discounted rate will apply all year due to challenges caused by COVID-19 (reduced from £475)

 

Optional reports

 

 

Separate report for volunteers. (N.B. In cases where hospices have both staff and volunteers taking a survey but do not wish to combine their data).

£150

See the next FAQ for information on including volunteers in your survey

Staff / Volunteers
comparison

£100

 

Managers
/ Non-managers comparison

£100

 

Clinical
areas / Non-clinical comparison

£100

 

Length
of service comparison

£150
– £200

See Note 1 below

Location
comparison

£150
– £300

See Note 2 below

Department
comparison

£150
– £300

See Note 2 below

Custom
sub analyses

£150
– £300

See Note 2 below

Verbatim
comments report

£125

Three ‘open questions’ are added to the survey to gather narrative responses

Previous
years comparison

£150

£200

Two years of comparisons
Three years of comparisons

Top
Performers benchmark comparison

£200

For organisations who have performed strongly against our benchmark

Other services

 

 

PDF version of the
questionnaire

£50

For printing out paper copies

Inputting
hard copy responses

£3

Per questionnaire

Comments
Summary Report

From £375

 

Findings
report

From £750

 

Staff
presentation/workshops

From £750

Services dependent on location

Note 1 – The report
cost depends on the number of reporting categories
:

Note 2 – The report cost depends on the number of
reporting categories:

Up to three:  £150

 Up to three: £150

Up to six:     £200

Up to six: £200

 

Up to nine: £250

 

Up to twelve: £300

We have a version of the Hospice Survey for paid staff only, and one that is more specific to volunteering. The surveys contain enough cross-over to enable effective and meaningful comparison of data if you wish for both your staff and volunteers to take part.

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). Refer again to the pricing table in the FAQ above for more information.  

You can see the questions for the 2020 Hospice Survey by viewing our trial survey. To open the trial survey in a new tab click here.

You cannot change the wording of the opinion questions in the survey – to facilitate the benchmarking – but 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. Open questions can be useful because the narrative responses can provide more detailed information from respondents and also the flexibility on wording the questions can enable you to raise specific topics that are important to your hospice.

We have example wording available to help you:

  1. What is the best thing about working for your charity?
  2. If you could change one thing about working for your charity, what would it be?
  3. Do you have any other comments?

The cost for adding three open questions is £150 plus VAT. We normally recommend adding up to three 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.

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

In addition to the Overall Results report that is included in the core price of your survey, you can further sub-analyse your results and customise your survey. The choices you make will depend on the size and structure of your organisation – some smaller organisations will be amply informed by the Overall Results report alone and will not require additional breakdowns.

A good way to help you choose which reporting options will best suit you is to think about who will use the reports and what areas of decision-making and planning the information could help inform and feed into.  The standard comparison reports available are:

Staff / volunteers

Managers / Non-managers

Clinical areas / Non-clinical areas

Length of service

Location

Department

Previous years

Top Performers benchmark (for hospices wanting to challenge themselves a little more)

These are all listed in the registration form, with click buttons allowing you to indicate whether or not you would like to add each option.

You can also specify a custom sub-analysis that is unique to your hospice. This could be, for example, to analyse the responses from different job types. The registration form will ask you if you require ‘any other sub analyses’ and give you the chance to input analyses categories that are unique to you.

When considering which groups of people you would like to have compared, please do not choose individual categories that are likely to have fewer than 10 respondents as this could compromise the anonymity of responses.

There is a fixed pricing structure for the addition of these reports, based on the number of categories involved in each. You can click here to view the pricing list, but the prices are also all listed clearly within the registration form.

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.

A sample of our standard Diversity Questionnaire will be added to this website during March 2020. If you’d like a copy before this please contact info@birdsong.co.uk.

Please do contact us to ask us if there is more information you’d like that you didn’t select at the point of registration. We would be able to produce Previous Years Comparison reports at a later stage, as well as separate Staff vs Volunteer comparisons if you have had both groups taking the survey. However, for most sub-analyses options, if you did not select it at the point of registration we cannot add it as a breakdown category after the survey as we will not have the necessary respondent information available to us. Therefore please make us aware at the point of registration and/or testing if you think there might be an area you’d like the flexibility of adding at a later point.

Birdsong can provide a PDF file for printing a hard copy of the questionnaire at your site if your organisation requires this. You will be able to select this as an option during your registration process.

You can find more information about utilising paper copies of the Hospice Survey in the next FAQ question. 

Two options are available to hospices using paper versions of the survey questionnaire in addition to the online survey.

You can enter the data yourself manually within your organisation via an online Data Capture link provided to you by Birdsong. To do this, there is 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. Please carefully consider the confidentiality implications involved if you choose this option.

Alternatively, completed paper surveys can be sent to Birdsong for us to carry out the data capture on behalf of your hospice. The price for this is the same £50+VAT fee for producing the PDF copy, plus £3+VAT for each questionnaire that we receive back by post to enter into your survey. 

You can select either of these options when registering for your survey.

If you have any further questions about your Hospice Survey, please do make contact with us via emma@birdsong.co.uk or by calling 01858 525258.

To return to the Hospice Survey page, where you can find other FAQs and register your hospice for the Hospice Survey 2020, please click here.

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

Click here to see Birdsong’s data policies.