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Publication, Part of

General Practice Workforce, 31 October 2021

Current Chapter

General Practice Workforce, 31 October 2021

Methodological change - figures in this release are no longer current and should not be used

As part of the 31 December 2021 publication, released on 10 February 2022, we introduced a significant methodological change and recalculated and re-published all historical figures back to September 2015, which means that figures in that release differ from and supersede those previously published, including those in this publication.

These pages have been retained for your reference, but the figures presented should no longer be used.

Please see the Methodological Review and Changes page of the December 2021 publication for an explanation of the changes.

10 February 2022 09:30 AM


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 31 October 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 proposals. 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 October 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 October 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 are subject to revision in the near future.

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 [email protected].

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.



Headcount 45,456


FTE Fully qualified GPs (excludes GPs in Training Grade)  

Headcount 37,043


FTE Qualified permanent GPs  

Headcount 35,335


FTE Nurses

Headcount 22,978


FTE Direct Patient Care staff  

Headcount 20,654


FTE Admin / non-clinical staff

Headcount 98,030




Last edited: 9 February 2022 3:57 pm