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, 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. This monthly snapshot reflects the general practice workforce at 30 November 2021.
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. This is the fourth release to be based on the monthly collection of general practice workforce information and all figures presented are provisional and potentially subject to revision. In August 2021 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. Following stakeholder feedback and the move to monthly publications we have reviewed the implementation of these changes, the impact on the timeseries and the length of time series included in each of these new monthly publications. See the Methodology Review page for more information about the review, its conclusions and our resulting plans. Until the methodological changes resulting from the review are implemented, all published figures remain provisional and we will not be presenting a time series. Therefore, only statistics relating to November 2021 are included in this release. It is our intention to implement the methodological changes and revise and reinstate the time series for the December 2021 publication, scheduled for release in February 2022.
For the purposes of NHS workforce statistics, we define full-time working to be 37.5 hours per week. Full-time equivalent is a standardised measure of the workload of an employed person. Using FTE, we can convert part-time and additional working hours into an equivalent number of full-time staff. For example, an individual working 37.5 hours would be classed as 1.0 FTE while a colleague working 30 hours would be 0.8 FTE.
The term “headcount” relates to distinct individuals, and as the same person may hold more than one role, care should be taken when interpreting headcount figures. Please refer to the Using this Publication section for information and guidance about the contents of this publication and how it can and cannot be used.
The Excel file available with this release presents November 2021 figures only, including CCG-level FTE and headcount breakdowns. CSVs containing practice-level summaries and CCG-level counts of individuals are also available. Please refer to the Publication content, analysis, and release schedule in the Using this publication section for more details of what’s available.
England-level time series figures for all job roles back to September 2015 when this series of Official Statistics began are available in the Excel bulletin tables of the June 2021 release of this publication. The June 2021 release also includes the individual and practice-level CSVs back to September 2015. Please be aware that planned methodological changes summarised on the Methodology Review page of this publication mean that these figures will be revised in February 2022, as part of the 31 December 2021 publication.
We are also planning to introduce a quarterly publication to complement this monthly publication, which will bring together staff working in general practice, including ad-hoc locums, and those working in Primary Care Networks and potentially GPs working in other settings such as A&E streaming. We will continue to provide updates on these plans as they develop.
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 PrimaryCareWorkforce@nhs.net.