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England medical workforce

There are around 55 million people in England and around one million patients are seen by the NHS every 36 hours. Most people in England live in urban settings rather than rural meaning that the majority of the population are in close proximity to healthcare.

NHS England and clinical commissioning groups are responsible for planning and commissioning the vast majority of NHS services in England. Care is delivered by a variety of NHS trusts and foundation trusts, community providers and independent and private providers.

These are:

  • 135 acute non-specialist trusts (including 84 foundation trusts)
  • 17 acute specialist trusts (including 16 foundation trusts)
  • 54 mental health trusts (including 42 foundation trusts)
  • 35 community providers (11 NHS trusts, six foundation trusts, 17 social enterprises and one limited company).
  • 10 ambulance trusts (including 5 foundation trusts)
  • 7,454 GP practices
  • 853 for-profit and not-for-profit independent sector organisations, providing care to NHS patients from 7,331 locations.

For the most recent NHS performance data please see our Pressure points in the NHS page.

We have concerns that trusts may be inaccurately coding SAS doctors which in turn is impacting the quality of available workforce data on these grades of doctors. This lack of robust data is of real concern and data collection agencies across the four UK nations must improve the scope and quality of data relating to the SAS grades as this hampers the ability to plan the SAS workforce appropriately.

 

Vacancies research

The BMA has undertaken some of its own research on vacancies:

 

Headcount and full time equivalent figures

Data published in April as at January 2018.

  Headcount
Full time equivalent
All medical staff
157,068 142,612
All hospital career grades
62,494 56,530
Consultant 48,947 46,297
SAS grades
10,465 9,043
 - Associate specialist
2,296 2,041
 - Specialty doctor
7,747 6,709
 -  Staff grade  422 347
 Other  1,331  862
All training grades
59,771 57,746
Registrar group
31,410 29,894
FY1
6,177 6,142
FY2
6,604 6,560
Core training
10,320 10,153
GP registrar  5,260 4,997
GPs (excluding retainers)
39,809 33,027
GP provider/performer
22,770 20,128
Salaried/other GP
11,797 7,902
GP retainers
254 108

 

Trends in the medical workforce in England.

This graph shows the number of doctors in England since 2009. Hover or tap on the graph to find the exact numbers for each year.

 

Secondary care trend – full time equivalent

This graph shows the full time equivalent trends in secondary care doctors in England since 2009. Scroll through all the graphs.

 

 

Primary care trend – full time equivalent

This graph shows the full time equivalent trends in primary care doctors in England since 2009. Scroll through all the graphs.

 

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