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Latest GP workforce figures released

27 September 2016: New official figures published today provide detailed statistics relating to the general practice workforce in England as at 31 March 2016.

NHS Digital must be quoted as the source of these figures

Please read notes to editors (below)

General and Personal Medical Services, England September 2015 - March 2016, Provisional Experimental3 statisticsis published by NHS Digital, the national information and technology provider for the health and care system. Amongst other things, it contains data on:

  • GPs by service type, working pattern, gender and age
  • GP practices by size and location
  • GP Country of qualification
  • Practice staff by job role
  • Absence5 rates for GPs and practice staff (new)
  • Vacancies5 for GP and practice staff (new)
  • General practice workforce turnover6 (new) 

Copies of the report are available at:


Notes to editors

1. NHS Digital is the national information and technology provider for the health and care system. Our team of information analysis, technology and project management experts create, deliver and manage the crucial digital systems, services, products and standards upon which health and care professionals depend. Our vision is to harness the power of information and technology to make health and care better. NHS Digital is the new trading name for the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC). We provide 'Information and Technology for better health and care'. Find out more about our role and remit

2. This report is one of several publications presenting details of staff numbers within the Healthcare workforce. It covers a wide variety of statistics about the General and Personal Medical Practitioners and their practice staff. It does not include NHS hospital and community staff and independent provider workforce, which is available separately.

3. Due to a change in data source from September 2015 these statistics are provisional and experimental, so care needs to be taken when interpreting these figures. Experimental statistics are official statistics which are published in order to involve users and stakeholders in their development and as a means to build in quality at an early stage. It is important that users understand that limitations may apply to the interpretation of these data. More details are given in the report.

4. Not all practices provided a submission each period. Failure to respond rates were 7.3per cent in March 2016 and 11.9 per cent in September 2015. Where possible, information has been estimated for these missing practices

5. Information has been produced for those practices which have provided data on the number of absences and vacancies, based on:

  •  absence - for the 12 month period 1 April 2015 to 31 March 2016, a total of 1,327 practices provided absence information, - 17 per cent of all practices
  •  vacancy - for the 12 month period 1 April 2015 to 31 March 2016 a total of 1,246 practices provided vacancy information - 16 per cent of all practices

The question of completeness arises given the low return rate from practices.

Points to note on the return rate:

  • Information for those practices which provided no data (7.3 per cent in March 2016 and 11.9 per cent in September 2015) for any area of the workforce Minimum Data Set (wMDS) collection have not been estimated
  • For practices which provided data for other areas of the submission but not any absence information, it is impossible to tell whether or not they had any periods of absence during the reporting period. Because of this, the submitted data may not contain all the absence data that practices had during the year
  • There is no evidence to confirm that for those practices which provided data for other areas of the submission but not any vacancy information whether or not they had one or more vacancies during the reporting periods and have failed to provide the information. Hence the submitted data may or may not contain all the vacancies that practices had during the year

Therefore the information on absence and vacancies should be treated with extreme caution and interpreted with care and understanding of its limitations.

These data are being published in the spirit of transparency and to enable users to gain an understanding of the data items contained within wMDS.

Note: Absence figures include (for example) study leave and not just periods of sickness.

6. GP turnover figures includes information on those GPs who have moved between practices, hence they will be classified as both a joiner and a leaver in the figures, but will not have left the GP profession.

7. Time series data are available within the bulletin tables. More detailed information for March 2016 is available within the detailed results which include data for England, by NHS England Regions, Health Education England regions and Clinical Commissioning Groups.

8. Practice level results are available within the Practice Level Indicator Tool and within the associated CSV file. Anonymised GP level results are also available in CSV file format

9. For media enquiries please contact or telephone 0300 30 33 888.

Last edited: 11 April 2018 5:36 pm