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Series / Collection

General Practice Workforce

Official statistics
Geographic Coverage:
Geographical Granularity:
Integrated Care Boards, GP practices, Regional health body, Sub-Integrated Care Boards


The General Practice Workforce series of Official Statistics presents a snapshot of the primary care general practice workforce. A snapshot statistic relates to the situation at a specific date, which for these workforce statistics is the last calendar day in the reporting period. Until July 2021, the snapshots have been produced each quarter and were a record as of 31 March, 30 June, 30 September, and 31 December. However, from July 2021, as requested by our stakeholders, we are collecting and publishing data on the general practice workforce on a monthly basis, and the snapshot will therefore relate to the last calendar day of each month, including weekends and public holidays.

These statistics present full-time equivalent (FTE) and headcount figures by four staff groups, (GPs, Nurses, Direct Patient Care (DPC) and administrative staff), with breakdowns of individual job roles within these high-level groups.

The publication includes an Excel Bulletin file containing full-time equivalent (FTE) and headcount figures by gender and role, age band and work commitment at England-level, along with patient counts. This bulletin also contains Integrated Care Board (ICB) and Sub-ICB Location breakdowns by role and ethnicity.

In addition to the Excel file, in every publication we release two CSVs presenting

• aggregate figures for each practice

• data for each individual job role filled reported at Sub-ICB Location-level We also aim to refresh the interactive Power BI dashboard.

This publication series was formerly known as “General and Personal Medical Services” and until September 2015, figures were produced from a different data source. However, in 2015, the workforce Minimum Data Set (wMDS) for Primary Care was introduced, which became the primary data source for publication series, and at that stage a new methodology was implemented. As a result, the main time series in these statistics begins in September 2015 and the earlier figures that were calculated from the previous data source are not comparable although the publications are listed below for reference.

In August 2021, for the June 2021 publication, we revised the entire time series back to September 2015, making several methodological changes to the way in which the workforce numbers are calculated. Please refer to the Methodological Change Notice in the June 2021 publication.

• Fully-estimated records (where a practice has not provided any valid data for a staff group) - were removed. Partial estimates (where the practice provides a record for an identifiable individual but does not include information about their contracted or working hours) - were still made and included in outputs.

• Ad-hoc locums - were removed from the main tables as the move to monthly data extracts meant the headcount figures would not be comparable with previous quarterly collections and retaining them in the main tables would lead to an unavoidable break in the time series

• Zero hours contracts – where working or contracted hours were recorded in the reporting period, staff are now counted in both the FTE and headcount figures, where neither working hours or contracted hours are recorded, staff are not counted in either.

Following stakeholder feedback regarding the impact removing the estimates may have had on the rate of the change in parts of workforce, NHS Digital committed to reviewing the removal of fully-estimated records. As a result of the findings of this review, for the publication of December 2021 data, estimates were reinstated using an improved methodology, and the entire time series was revised to include these estimates. All other changes introduced in August 2021 remain in place. Please refer to the Methodological Changes and Review section of the December 2021 publication for more information about the review and the resulting changes: The revisions mean that figures in the December 2021 release differ from and supersede those previously published, which should no longer be used but will remain on our website for transparency.

We are continually working to improve our publications to ensure their contents are as useful and relevant as possible for our users. We welcome feedback from all users to [email protected]

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