The primary data source for General Practice Workforce statistics changed in September 2015 from the National Health Authority Information System (NHAIS) to the wMDS (Workforce Minimum Data Set) collected via the National Workforce Reporting System (NWRS) data entry module and four HEE Regional Tools whose data was submitted to NHS Digital via the workforce Minimum Data Set Collection Vehicle (wMDSCV) until March 2019.
From March 2019, the main data source for this collection is the NWRS. Since January 2019 data is no longer received on behalf of any practices via HEE Region Tools, with all data collection (excluding GP registrars) taking place through the NWRS.
For the September 2019 collection 98.5% of eligible general practices provided valid GP data for non-registrar GPs, with GP data for the remaining 1.5% of practices estimated. FTE figures were also estimated for otherwise valid records with no submitted hours, which affected GP records in 5.4% of practices in September 2019. More information about the estimation methodology can be found in the Data Quality Statement that accompanies this publication; the estimation rates for all four staff groups can be found under Estimation Rates below
GP registrar data has been taken from the Health Education England (HEE) Trainee Information System (TIS) since June 2018 and is extracted where the record indicates that the trainee is currently on an active placement in General Practice. Prior to this, registrar data were compiled using a combination of the NWRS and HEE tools, and the Electronic Staff Record system (ESR). Comparison work based on June 2018 data using the old and new sources, has resulted in adjustments to pre-June 2018 figures that now enable indicative comparisons of GPs including registrars to be made across the time series
The change in the data source for GP registrars has enabled us to produce more timely and accurate information which has removed the need to release provisional and then final figures. All data is now final at publication.
Since June 2018, GP registrar data is taken from the HEE TIS system removing any need for GP registrar estimations.
Following a consultation in 2018, several revisions to our data processing and methodology were implemented for the publication of December 2018 data which are detailed in the Data Quality Statement that accompanies that release. As a result of these changes, revised figures from September 2015 to September 2018 were published in two instalments on 21 February and 25 April 2019. Please refer to the December 2018 publication for more information.
Please note: The figures produced under the new methodology are not comparable with earlier figures published prior to 21 February 2019.
Following recent investigations into the GP Locum data within this collection, we have revised the Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) figures for GP Locums in September 2015, March 2016, September 2016 and December 2016. Revised England-level GP Locum FTE figures for September 2015 to December 2016 have been included in this publication, and the previous breaks in the time series have been removed. Revised regional GP locum FTE figures will be produced in due course, where applicable, and for this publication will be displayed as of Unknown region in the accompanying Power BI dashboard. The GP headcount time series remains unaltered as the methodology used accounted for the level of work undertaken which is represented by FTE; we are unable to make assumptions about headcount from this due to changing locum working patterns.
Please note: The new locum FTE figures for September 2015 to December 2016 are not comparable with earlier figures published prior to 28 November 2019.
We have also made changes to the GP Joiners and Leavers methodology, after an initial review of the data and existing methodology. The revised figures can be found within the Supplementary Tables of this publication. Further work will continue in this area.
With the recent introduction of Primary Care Networks (PCNs), information on Clinical Directors registered within the PCNs has formed part of the September 2019 collection and is provided within the Supplementary Tables of this release.
More information on these changes can be found in the accompanying Data Quality Statement.
Following stakeholder feedback and in light of changes to the way in which users engage with data and information, we will undertake a review of the publication content and outputs with a view to streamlining its contents and standardising the release. As a result of this activity, it is likely that in addition to open data, we will encourage greater use of interactive resources to enable our users to interrogate the data according to their particular needs.
We welcome feedback, by email to PrimaryCareWorkforce@nhs.net