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Publication, Part of

General Practice Workforce 31 December 2020

Official statistics

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General Practice Workforce 31 December 2020

To provide the most up-to-date information possible to support workforce planning and as requested by our stakeholders, we began collecting data on the General Practice Workforce monthly and published statistics based on the first of these monthly extracts for October 2020.

However, it is evident that the transition to a monthly collection at that time led to a decrease in the quality and completeness of the data, particularly relating to 'ad-hoc' or 'infrequent' locums. As a result, although we will preserve the publications for October and November 2020 for transparency purposes, we will not use figures from those releases in any further analysis and will not include them in time series tables.

In addition, we are temporarily reverting to a quarterly collection and reporting cycle which we and our NHS England and NHS Improvement colleagues hope will help to reduce the burden on practices over the coming weeks. We expect to return to the monthly series later this year.

4 February 2021 09:30 AM

Revised headcount and FTE figures by age band for December 2020

The originally published figures for December 2020 in tables 2a and and 2b of the Bulletin Tables file - which present full-time equivalent counts by age band and headcounts by age band respectively - have been revised. This was necessary after a processing error was discovered which meant the ages of some records had been incorrectly calculated, placing some individuals into a lower age band than they should have been based on their age at 31 December 2020.

The Individual and Practice level CSVs have not been updated. We plan to revise them in due curse to reflect the latest CCG structure.

7 May 2021 10:19 AM


This report presents data about GPs, Nurses, Direct Patient Care and Admin/Non-Clinical staff working in General Practice in England, along with information on their patients and practices.

It is a snapshot of the workforce at the date of data extract but also includes an additional measure which reflects the amount of ad-hoc or infrequent locum usage within the period since the last extraction and publication.

This historically quarterly series of statistics was collected and published monthly for the first time from October 2020. However, to alleviate the burden on practices during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and vaccination programme, we have reverted to quarterly extractions.

This release provides of the workforce at 31 December 2020 while also including three months of infrequent locum usage and so remains in line with previous quarterly releases.

The releases for October and November 2020 presented full-time equivalent (FTE) figures only. The figures for those months are not included in this timeseries. We are preserving those statistical publications for transparency and to enable analysts to do specific analysis understanding the caveats, but it became evident that the transition to monthly collection during the pandemic led to a decrease in quality and completeness of the data submitted by GP practices so we will not be using the data in any future time series or analysis.

Information about the contents of this publication and how it can and cannot be used, can be found in the Report tab. Our publication includes information on recent and planned changes as well as highlighting future developments. We are continually working to improve our publication to ensure the components are as useful and relevant as possible for our users.

Links to other publications presenting healthcare workforce information can be found under Related Links.

Key Facts

Full-Time Equivalent

is a standardised measure of the workload of an employed person and allows for the total workforce workload to be expressed as the equivalent number of full-time staff. 1.0 FTE equates to full-time work of 37.5 hours per week, an FTE of 0.5 would equate to 18.75 hours per week.

All GPs

35,146 Full-time equivalent  (1.3% (438) more than December 2019)

46,477 Headcount  (1.3% (608) more than December 2019)

Fully qualified GPs (excludes Registrars)

27,980 Full-time equivalent  (1.2% (339) fewer than December 2019)

39,213 Headcount  (0.4% (145) fewer than December 2019)

Qualified permanent GPs (excludes Registrars and Locums)

26,754 Full-time equivalent  (0.6% (174) fewer than December 2019)

35,617 Headcount  (2.4% (844) more than December 2019)


16,732 Full-time equivalent  (0.5% (87) fewer than December 2019)

23,943 Headcount  (0.7% (178) fewer than December 2019)

Direct patient care staff

14,869 Full-time equivalent  (5.8% (818) more than December 2019)

21,318 Headcount  (3.7% (759) more than December 2019)

Admin / non-clinical staff

69,300 Full-time equivalent  (0.6% (414) more than December 2019)

97,186 Headcount  (0.03% (27) more than December 2019)

Last edited: 25 May 2021 10:47 am