More than half of the staff in the NHS regularly work unpaid overtime and one in four have been harassed or abused by patients or their relatives in the last year, according to the second national NHS staff survey.
Despite this, NHS staff are generally satisfied with their work and committed to providing the best possible care for patients.
The Healthcare Commission's survey also shows that there has been an increase in the proportion of NHS staff receiving training and appraisals.
The survey was conducted in October 2004 and is the largest workforce survey in the world, with 572 organisations (all healthcare trusts in England) took part in the survey. A total of 217,968 NHS employees responded - a response rate of 60%.
Steve Barnett, director of NHS Employers, said: "Employers are continuing to improve the workplace for NHS staff, but there is still more that we need to do.
"The results are an encouraging reflection of the views of staff. This is a real testament to the improvements that have been made in recent years and is reflected in the high rating of the quality of senior management leadership."