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 were produced each quarter and were a record as of 31 March, 30 June, 30 September, and 31 December. However, we now collect and publish data on the general practice workforce on a monthly basis and the snapshot therefore relates to the last calendar day of each month, including weekends and public holidays. This monthly snapshot reflects the general practice workforce at 31 January 2022.
In the publication relating to the general practice workforce at 31 December 2021, we introduced a significant methodological change and revised the entire time series back to September 2015. This means that figures in this release differ from and supersede those published prior to the 31 December 2021 release. Please see the Methodology Review and Changes chapter of this release for more information.
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.
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.
England-level time series figures for all job roles are available in the Excel bulletin tables back to September 2015 when this series of Official Statistics began. The Excel file also includes CCG-level FTE and headcount breakdowns for the current reporting period. This publication series also includes CSVs for selected reporting periods back to September 2015, containing practice-level summaries and CCG-level counts of individuals. Please refer to the Publication content, analysis, and release schedule in the Using this publication section for more details of what’s available.
In addition to the snapshot of the main general practice workforce, Annexes B and C in the Excel Bulletin tables include figures relating to the number of ad-hoc locum GPs working in general practice and information about their working hours. These figures used to be included in the main totals, but data relating to ad-hoc locum workforce is collected differently and these figures do not constitute a snapshot. As a result, because they are not directly comparable to the snapshot, we now report these figures separately rather than including them in the overall totals.
We are 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. The first experimental edition is likely to be released in Spring 2022 and include workforce data for all staff groups for September and December 2021.
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.