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Publication, Part of

Primary Care Network Workforce - 31 March 2020

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Data Sources

Data about the PCN workforce is collected online via the National Workforce Reporting System (NWRS). Although this is the same tool as is used to collect data on the general practice workforce, the PCN-level data collection is separate and is a subset of what the GP practices provide. NWRS collects two distinct types of information about the PCN workforce according to whether the staff is an individual or part of the “pooled resource.”

  • NWRS collects record-level data including personal details such as gender and age, contracted and average working hours, job role and employment start date for the clinical director, direct patient care professionals and administrative/non-clinical staff working for the PCN. These individuals may be employed directly or deployed to the PCN but employed by one of the PCN member organisations whose costs are reimbursed under the ARRS.
  • It is not possible to collect record-level information where a role is covered by “pooled resource” consisting of several people all of whom are employed by another organisation and any of whom could be working for the PCN on a given day. In this case, only the job role and information about the average weekly working hours are collected which enables a proxy full-time equivalent figure for these pooled staff to be calculated but means we cannot determine how many individuals the FTE figures relate to.

Each PCN has a member organisation – usually, but not always a general practice – which acts as the lead provider. This lead provider receives the PCN funding on behalf of the network and is generally responsible for the PCN’s administrative activity, including reimbursing PCN member organisations for staff costs as necessary, and the provision of the workforce data. A registered NWRS user for the PCN enters and maintains the record-level data and information relating to any pooled staff as applicable.

NHS Digital asks the NWRS users to ensure that the information about their workforce is maintained on an ongoing basis, and specifically is up to date at the end of each quarter when we extract the data automatically. Although the collection and Experimental Official Statistics are currently produced at the end of March, June, September, and December, it is anticipated that in due course the PCN data will be updated more frequently allowing extracts to be taken,  and figures published, on a monthly basis.

Details of PCNs, their GP practice members and their relationships to CCGs are provided by NHS England’s primary care commissioning teams and published monthly by NHS Digital’s Organisation Data Service (ODS). More information is available at

Last edited: 27 May 2020 4:31 pm