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Publication, Part of

NHS Workforce Statistics - August 2020

Official statistics

Current Chapter

NHS Workforce Statistics - August 2020

Proposed changes to NHS Workforce statistics publications

We are continually working to improve our publications to ensure the components are as useful and relevant as possible for our users. Recently, we have been reviewing elements of the NHS Workforce Statistics series in relation to:


  1. ‘Late starter’ records in the month which also have a maternity status
  2. Staff currently classified in the Unknown staff group
  3. The release of a subset of this publication approximately 4 weeks ahead of the current publication schedule.

We have discussed these elements with our stakeholders and propose that the changes outlined below will be implemented in the January 2021 publication which will contain full October 2020 data and Provisional November 2020 data.


  1. For October 2020 data onwards, staff with a maternity status and start date within the month, but no earnings in the month, will no longer be included within our published figures. A late starter flag is used in our processing to ensure those staff starting within a month, who may not have received payment (due to missing payroll for instance) are captured in our figures. However, analysis of these records shows that most maternity staff in this situation still have a maternity status attached to their records in the following month. This indicates the change to their record might have been for an administrative purpose and they are therefore not part of the effective workforce. Removing these records is likely to reduce the total staff headcount by less than 0.5%. When published, the time series will be revised from September 2019 onwards.
  2. Under current processing rules, where there are inconsistencies with the Occupation Code, Job Role and AfC band associated with a staff record, they are labelled with an ‘Unknown’ staff group in published data. This accounted for approximately 2,000 records in July 2020. Investigation of these records show that approximately three quarters of them relate to two specific Job Roles (Technical Instructor and Technician). We intend to adjust our reference data that aligns these two roles to their appropriate Occupation Codes thereby reducing the number of Unknown records.
  3. In January 2021 we will introduce a ‘Provisional’ release of a section of the monthly NHS Workforce Statistics publication. This will be for data a month in advance of its current timescale. It will contain headline counts of NHS staff numbers for the main staff groups and a detailed view of the Nurses staff group to enable more timely monitoring of this cohort. This release will include national level data only and will be published within the current publication series with the Provisional file clearly marked.


We welcome feedback from users on these changes and ask that you provide any feedback by the end of Friday 18 December 2020 to enable it to be incorporated into the publication. We are happy to provide more detail on the above where requested. Please contact us at [email protected]

26 November 2020 09:30 AM


This report shows monthly numbers of NHS Hospital and Community Health Service (HCHS) staff working in NHS Trusts and CCGs in England (excluding primary care staff). Data is available as headcount and full-time equivalents and are available every month for 30 September 2009 onwards.

This data is an accurate summary of the validated data extracted from the NHS HR and Payroll system. Additional statistics on staff in NHS Trusts and CCGs and information for NHS Support Organisations and Central Bodies are published each:

September (showing June statistics)

December (showing September statistics)

March (showing December statistics)

June (showing March statistics)

Quarterly NHS Staff Earnings and monthly NHS Staff Sickness Absence reports and data relating to the General Practice workforce and the Independent Healthcare Provider workforce are also available via the Related Links below.

We welcome feedback on the methodology and tables within this publication. Please email us with your comments and suggestions, clearly stating Monthly HCHS Workforce as the subject heading, via [email protected] or 0300 303 5678.

This is the latest publication of a monthly series of the Hospital and Community Health Services (HCHS) workforce statistics using data from the Electronic Staff Record (ESR).

The figures do not include data for GPs and their staff.

Full-Time Equivalent (FTE)

is a standardised measure of the workload of an employed person and allows for the total workforce workload to be expressed in an 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 NHS Hospital & Community Health Service (HCHS) staff

1,161,858 FTE in August 2020. This is 5.6% (61,585) more than in August 2019.

1,310,999 Headcount in August 2020.  This is 5.3% (65,432) more than in August 2019.

Professionally qualified clinical staff*

make up over half of the HCHS workforce (52.7% (612,087) FTE) in August 2020.  This is 5.0% (29,420) more than in August 2019.

682,452 Headcount in August 2020. This is 4.8% (30,962) more than in August 2019.



* This group includes all HCHS doctors, qualified nurses and health visitors, midwives, qualified scientific, therapeutic and technical staff and qualified ambulance staff

Last edited: 25 November 2020 12:39 pm