Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) section
Before the survey starts
I’ve taken the Hospice Survey before, has anything changed for this year?
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 Hospice Survey have since been developed by Birdsong. These include an increased focus on staff wellbeing, 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.
What are the dates for the 2023 Hospice Survey?
The timetable for the 2023 main survey period is as follows:
The Hospice Survey registration period is open from early March and will close on the Friday 14th of April 2023. During this time – in addition to the information you can find on these FAQ pages – Birdsong’s Hospice Survey Project Lead Emma Howard (firstname.lastname@example.org) will be on hand to answer any questions or provide any support you might need to register with your chosen options.
The Hospice Survey itself will be live for five weeks from Monday 15th May - Friday 16th of June 2023. 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 21st of July 2023 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. Diversity and Equality reports, where requested, will also follow on after the main reporting date.
Please note that if you were not able to participate in the collective period, you can take the Hospice Survey on a standalone basis at another time of year
What are the questions in the Hospice Survey?
You can see the questions for the Hospice Survey by viewing our trial survey. To open the trial survey in a new tab click here.
Can I modify the survey to include my own questions?
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. You can add up to three questions to your survey selections for a standard extra charge (see our Guidance Notes for information on pricing) 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 for open questions. These are:
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?
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.
NB: We do also offer bespoke surveys, starting form a core survey cost of £1,950 +VAT, if you require a specifically tailored approach.
How do I include volunteers in my survey?
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 £345 + VAT). Refer to the pricing table in in our Guidance Notes for more information.
I’d like my survey results to tell me about how different groups of people are feeling. How do I do this?
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 vs volunteers
Managers vs Non-managers
Clinical areas vs Non-clinical areas
Length of service
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 in your comparison reports, 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. Refer to the pricing table in in our Guidance Notes for more information.
How much does it cost for my hospice to take part?
Core cost of the survey: We provide a discount of £150+VAT for all hospices who choose to take the survey during our main Hospice Survey period in early summer. This means that the core cost for taking the survey and receiving an Overall Results report is £345+VAT in the early summer period, and £495+VAT at any other time of year. For the first time in five years, because of general rising costs, we have had to introduce very minor price increases for some of our services. Please be assured that we have kept the increases as minimal as possible and most of the individual report costs remain the same as in previous years.
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. 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.
Does the cost increase with the numbers of respondents you are asking to take part?
No, the price remains fixed no matter how many staff or volunteers you are asking to take part.
How does the pricing for sub-analyses work?
There is a fixed price structure for the survey sub-analysis reports, with various options available at additional cost. Refer to the pricing table in in our Guidance Notes for more information.
The registration process guides you through the available selections and indicates prices for each option as you go through the online form. The same price structure applies to both staff and volunteer surveys. The costs do not increase with the numbers of respondents that take part.
All the costs detailed exclude VAT, which is charged at the standard rate of 20%.
Does the Hospice Survey cover any questions about pandemic-related ongoing challenges and/or changed working circumstances?
Many of our charity clients are finding a continued need to monitor and gauge how staff are feeling about current working circumstances – hybrid, remote or ‘blended’ working are still fairly new mechanisms and it can take a while for staff to get used to them. Birdsong offers an optional set of survey questions which can be added to the main Hospice Survey to help gauge how staff feel about the hybrid working system used at their charity. It gauges how staff find various aspects of hybrid working and adjustments since the pandemic - even if they themselves do not personally use a hybrid working arrangement.
The hybrid working set of questions will link well (and provide continuity) with the pandemic-related questions that many of our Hospice Survey clients chose to add in 2020, 2021 and 2022. They enable tracking of opinion over time and will help to pinpoint any shifts in satisfaction linked to how working circumstances may have changed.
I want to use the survey to also gather diversity information at my organisation, can I do this?
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 £300+VAT.
Will I be able to add additional reports at a later stage?
Please do always 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 any 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 further breakdown category afterwards 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.
Some of our staff/volunteers do not have access to the internet – how can they take the survey?
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.
How does the data capture for paper versions of the survey work? Do I need this option?
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 £75+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 £75+VAT fee for producing the PDF copy (as above) 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 email@example.com or by calling 01858 525258.
To return to the Hospice Survey page, where you can find other FAQs or register your hospice for the Hospice Survey, please click here.