We were asked by Health Education England on behalf of NHS England and Improvement’s (NHSEI) Healthcare Science Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Workforce Group (Chief Scientific Officer’s Office) to analyse a large online survey that they had carried out on equality, diversity and inclusion in the healthcare science workforce.
The survey included a mixture of quantitative and qualitative questions, and covered a range of topics including recruitment, career progression opportunities, retention, leadership, and health and wellbeing.
We analysed 569 survey responses. These came from healthcare scientists working across the 4 different scientific ‘divisions’, including clinical bioinformatics, life sciences, physical sciences and biomedical engineering, and physiological sciences.
As part of the analysis we explored whether protected characteristics (including ethnicity, age, gender, caring and parental responsibilities, sexual orientation and disability) were linked to certain experiences. Due to the large number of survey responses that we needed to analyse, looking for patterns or themes within the qualitative data was challenging.
We used the import spreadsheet feature in Dovetail which enabled us to create separate fields for each of the protected characteristics that had been captured in the survey. This made it possible to filter the qualitative data by these attributes and see where there were patterns. For example, we were able to look at responses from those who were disabled and those who were not and see where their experiences differed.
Our findings are now being used by NHSEI’s Healthcare Science Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Workforce Group to inform recommendations on how to address the issues that were raised in the survey.