NHS workforce census published today

NHS staff numbers show biggest overall fall in 10 years: numbers of clinical support & infrastructure support staff decline & those of professionally qualified clinical staff increase slightly

The number of staff working for the NHS fell by 19,799 in 2011 – its biggest fall in ten years – as numbers of clinical support and infrastructure support staff declined and those of professionally qualified clinical staff increased slightly, says a report from the Health and Social Care Information Centre today.

The annual census of staff showed there were 1,350,377 people working for the NHS in England on 30 September 2011 – a decrease of 1.4 per cent on the same time in 2010.

However, overall there are still 241,246 (21.8 per cent) more people working for the NHS than there were a decade ago when staff numbers stood at 1,109,131. That means there has been an average annual increase of two per cent since 2001.

This year’s workforce census shows an increase in most clinical staff categories. However numbers of hospital and community health service nurses fell by 3,411 (one per cent) in the year to September 2011.

There was also a decrease in the number of clinical support and infrastructure staff. Of these staff:

  • NHS infrastructure support staff numbers fell to 219,624, a decrease of 13,718 (5.9 per cent) since 2010 and an increase of 39,841 (22.2 per cent) since 2001 (an average annual increase of 2.0 per cent). Provisional figures for December 2011 show a further decrease of 611 (0.3 per cent) since September 2011.
  • Of these staff, managers and senior managers saw the biggest percentage decrease with their numbers falling 8.9 per cent (3,748) to 38,214 in the year to September 2011. Numbers of managers and senior managers were still 10,790 (39.3 per cent) higher than in 2001 – showing an average annual increase over the period of 3.4 per cent. Provisional figures for December 2011 showed numbers of managers and senior managers continued to fall after September 2011 with a further loss of 279 (0.7 per cent).
  • Clinical support staff numbers fell to 347,064, a decrease of 9,346 (2.6 per cent) since 2010 and an increase of 48,948 (16.4 per cent) since 2001 (an average annual increase of 1.5 per cent). Provisional figures for December 2011 showed a further decrease of 2,489 (0.7 per cent) since September 2011.

Professionally qualified clinical staff saw a small increase of 254 in the year to September 2011 to stand at 685,066. This was 139,306 (25.5 per cent) more than in 2001 (an average annual increase of 2.3 per cent). Of these staff:

  • Hospital and community health service medical and dental staff saw an 1,799 increase (1.7 per cent) since 2010 to stand at 105,711 This was an increase of 31,865 (43.2 per cent) since 2001 (an average annual increase of 3.7 per cent). Provisional figures for December 2011 showed a further increase of 119 (0.1 per cent) since September 2011.
  • Of these, consultants numbers rose to 39,088, an increase of 1,336 (3.5 per cent) since 2010 and an increase of 13,306 (51.6 per cent) since 2001 (an average annual increase of 4.2 per cent). Provisional figures for December 2011 showed a further increase of 244 (0.6 per cent) since September 2011.
  • Scientific, technical and therapeutic staff saw an increase of 609 (0.4 per cent) since 2010 to stand at 152,216. This was an increase of 41,975 (38.1 per cent) since 2001 (an average annual increase of 3.3 per cent). Provisional figures for December 2011 showed a further increase of 586 (0.4 per cent) since September 2011.
  • Hospital and community health service qualified nurses decreased by 3,411 (1.0 per cent) since 2010 to stand at 348,693. However, this was an increase of 48,194 (16.0 per cent) since 2001 (an average annual increase of 1.5 per cent). Provisional figures for December 2011 showed an increase of 931 (0.3 per cent) since September 2011.
  • In primary care, GP numbers saw an increase of 371 since 2010 (0.9 per cent) to stand at 39,780. This was an increase of 7,945 (25.0 per cent) since 2001 (an average annual increase of 2.3 per cent).

Health and Social Care Information Centre chief executive Tim Straughan said: “The report shows the fall in the NHS staff numbers is primarily in non-clinical, particularly managerial, posts.

“Most categories of professionally qualified clinical staff saw increases in their numbers – although nurses saw a small decline but numbers are still up on ten years ago.

“The number of managers and senior managers fell 8.9 per cent in the year to September 2011, though again, numbers are still up on 2001 levels.”

Full copies of the reports are available at www.ic.nhs.uk/pubs/nhsworkforce

Ends

Note to editors

  1. The Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) was formerly known as the NHS Information Centre for health and social care.
  2. It is England's authoritative, central, independent source of health and social care information. It works with a wide range of health and social care providers nationwide to provide the facts and figures that help the NHS and social services run effectively. Its role is to collect data, analyse it and convert it into useful information which helps providers improve their services and supports users including academics, researcher, regulators and policymakers in their work. The HSCIC also produces a wide range of statistical publications each year across a number of areas including: primary care, health and lifestyles, screening, hospital care, population and geography, social care and workforce and pay statistics.
  3. All workforce census numbers are for 30 September 2011. All workforce census changes are for 30 September 2010 to 30 September 2011 or 30 September 2001 to 2011 and refer to headcount unless stated otherwise. All provisional monthly workforce figures indicate a change from 30th September 2011 to 31st December 2011. Provisional monthly figures for 30 September 2011 to 31 December 2011 are not available for Primary Care Staff including GPs, or Practice staff. The HSCIC has also issued a Data Quality Statement with this publication http://www.ic.nhs.uk/pubs/nhsworkforce as required by the Code of Practice for Official Statistics.
  4. Figures no longer include bank staff, all figures have been adjusted to show data excluding bank (previous year’s publications included bank staff). The NHS Nursing and Midwifery Bank Staff collection and its contribution to the annual Hospital and Community Health Services (HCHS) Non-Medical Workforce Census publication was suspended for 2011. This collection, along with many others, is being reviewed as part of the national Fundamental Review of NHS data collections which was issued for consultation in late August 2011. Following the outcome of the Fundamental Review, the HSCIC will then consider the future of the NHS Nursing and Midwifery Bank Staff collection in 2012 and beyond.
  5. Introduced last year, the headcount figures (for 2010 onwards) are based on a new methodology which is not fully comparable with previous years’ figures. The new methodology aligns the headcount figures across the 3 publications, listed in note 7 below, so all headcount figures are now calculated in exactly the same way. The new methodology is also consistent with the headcount figures already in use within the provisional monthly HCHS workforce publication which has been published in this format since July 2010. Comparisons with 2001 have not been able to be so adjusted. Increases since 2001 are therefore likely to be slightly understated, but the impact on these figures of the change of methodology will be small.
  6. Headcount refers to the total number of staff in both part-time and full-time employment. The main difference for the annual census from 2010 is that headcount figures are a more precise count of absolute staff numbers as the methodology has changed from counting all contracts and job roles in different Trusts to one of counting unique individuals, where this is possible (for example, a nurse working for more than one Trust). This results in duplicate individuals being removed at every level so when totalling, duplication is removed therefore the headcount total will typically be less than the sum of its component parts. There will remain, as in previous years, some potential duplication between HCHS and Practice Staff.
  7. This annual publication presents the results from three censuses monitoring the NHS workforce as at 30th September 2011. The statistical publication takes the format of a summary document and three Statistical Bulletins: two covering Hospital and Community Services (Medical and Dental staff; and Non-medical staff); and one covering General and Personal Medical Services. These data do not include high street dentists and ophthalmic practitioners which are covered in other publications: http://www.ic.nhs.uk/statistics-and-data-collections/primary-careNor do they include Social Care which is covered in the publications at  http://www.ic.nhs.uk/statistics-and-data-collections/social-care 
  8. HCHS Medical and Dental staff are all hospital and community doctors (excluding GPs) with a medical and dental specialty.
  9. Bank and agency staff are excluded.
  10. Staff in support to clinical staff includes the following sub groups; Support to doctors and nursing - such as nursery nurses, healthcare assistants, clerical and administrative staff working specifically in clinical areas such as medical secretaries, and maintenance and works staff specifically identified as supporting clinical areas; Support to scientific, therapeutic and technical (ST&T) staff – such as ST&T trainees, healthcare assistants, clerical and administrative staff and maintenance and works staff specifically identified as supporting the ST&T group; Support to ambulance staff – such as trainee ambulance technicians, clerical and administrative staff and maintenance and works staff specifically identified as supporting the ambulance service.
  11. NHS infrastructure support includes the following sub groups; managers and senior managers, central functions (such as personnel, finance, IT, legal services and library services), and hotel, property and estates (such as laundry, catering, caretakers and domestic services).
  12. For media enquiries please call 0845 257 6990 or email mediaenquiries@ic.nhs.uk

 

 

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