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:
- ‘Late starter’ records in the month which also have a maternity status
- Staff currently classified in the Unknown staff group
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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@example.com