The reforms set out in the Health and Social Care Act 2012 introduced new arrangements for commissioning healthcare services and a new system through which education and training is planned, commissioned, funded and delivered.
The Workforce Information Architecture work stream was established by the Department of Health as part of the reforms to review, improve and test the arrangements for handling workforce data and intelligence that will be necessary for the reformed systems to operate effectively.
The review recommended that a workforce Minimum Data Set (wMDS) be collected from all providers of NHS-funded care. The reforms also presented an opportunity to improve data quality, as well as data coverage and completeness, to support a step change in the effectiveness of workforce planning.
As a result of this review and in light of better understanding of the workforce data, the HSCIC have carried out two consultations on the Hospital and Community Health Service and Primary Care workforce with a wide range of users and stakeholders.
The two Statistical Change Notices explain the impact of these changes on the healthcare workforce statistics published on 30 March 2016. One of the key outcomes of the review and consultations is to categorise the workforce more clearly to show where the workforce are working, whether in a hospital, a GP practice or in the Independent sector.
The re-categorisation of the workforce, methodological changes to the Hospital and Community Health Service and change in data source for the primary care workforce will impact on the comparability with the previously published workforce numbers and may affect trends over time.
To support the understanding of these changes, historical tables showing the data from September 2009 to September 2014 on the new basis are available, along with further details in the data quality statement as part of the publication on 30 March 2016.
For the September 2015 GP practice collection, not all practices provided a response for the September 2015 collection, so information for these practices is estimated, using this estimation methodology.