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Publication, Part of

General Practice Workforce, 31 March 2022

Official statistics

Changes in this series

New Advanced Practitioner job roles

During March 2022 a set of Direct Patient Care advanced practitioner roles were added to the NWRS collection tool. The five roles which are applicable to the General Practice Workforce are:

  • Advanced Occupational Therapist Practitioner
  • Advanced Paramedic Practitioner
  • Advanced Pharmacist Practitioner
  • Advanced Physiotherapist Practitioner
  • Advanced Podiatrist Practitioner

The way these roles are selected is different than for other roles, which are chosen from a drop-down list. For the advanced practitioner roles relating to the Direct Patient Care staff group, users are now presented with a tick box whenever they choose a Direct Patient Care job role. For example, when the job role pharmacist is selected from the drop-down list, the user is given the option to populate the tick box to indicate that this individual is an advanced pharmacist practitioner.  Wherever an individual's record has this tick populated for one of the five roles listed, they will be counted against the relevant advanced practitioner role. 
It is likely that prior to the introduction of this functionality, some advanced practitioners were being recorded against the corresponding regular job role. For example, advanced pharmacist practitioners may have previously been recorded as pharmacists. The reclassification of these individuals into advanced practitioner roles would therefore lead to a decrease in reported pharmacist FTE and headcounts, but this apparent decrease would in fact be the result of improved data quality and this should be considered when making comparisons between figures prior to March 2022 with figures from March 2022 onwards. The same applies to all five Direct Patient Care job roles which now have corresponding advanced practitioner roles.
As these advanced practitioner roles were newly added to NWRS in March 2022, FTE and headcounts for these roles will be presented from March 2022 onwards in the time series tables.


GP joiner and leaver analysis - additional time series tables

Up until the December 2021 release, the time series of GP joiner and leaver statistics, published quarterly, reflected joiners to and leavers from the fully qualified permanent GP workforce (all GPs excluding locums and GPs in Training). Our stakeholders have indicated that these figures would better fit their workforce planning and monitoring needs if they also included locums.

For this reason, two new time series tables (2a and 2b) have been added to the accompanying GP Joiners and Leavers - March 2022 file, which present joiners to and leavers from the fully qualified GP workforce (all GPs excluding GPs in Training). 

As some users may still be interested in joiners and leaver counts for the fully qualified permanent GP workforce, the original series has been retained (tables 1a and 1b) and will continue to be produced.

Forthcoming changes

New publication - Primary Care Workforce Quarterly Update

We are planning to introduce a quarterly publication using additional data sources to complement this publication, which will bring together FTE 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 scheduled for release on 19 May 2022 and will initially present FTE primary care workforce statistics for the direct patient care, nurse and admin/non-clinical staff groups, with the GP staff group being released in June, once final ad-hoc locum data becomes available. 

Regional restructure

Each year we re-produce historical practice and individual-level CSVs, with practices and CCGs remapped to reflect the latest NHS England and Improvement regional structure. In 2022, changes to the structure include the establishment of Integrated Care Boards (ICBs) as statutory bodies and they will succeed Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships (STPs). When ICBs are legally established, all Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) are due to be statutorily abolished.

It was originally expected that these changes would come in to effect in April 2022. However, this target date has now been changed to 1 July 2022 to allow more time for the remaining parliamentary stages and to enable organisations to manage their more immediate pandemic response priorities. Once these changes have been implemented, they will be reflected in this publication and the most relevant historical Practice and Individual-level CSVs will be reproduced to reflect the new structure, and republished.

Further information

If you have any comments or questions about these changes, please contact NHS Digital on 0300 303 5678 or email

Last edited: 18 May 2022 2:04 pm