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NHS: Manpower

Volume 481: debated on Tuesday 21 October 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what proportion of those employed by the NHS were employed in (a) medical posts, (b) administrative posts and (c) posts with both medical and administrative responsibilities in the latest period for which figures are available. (228079)

The following table shows both the head count and percentage of national health service staff employed as professionally qualified clinical staff, which includes doctors, qualified nursing, qualified scientific, therapeutic and technical staff, and ambulance staff. Numbers and percentages for staff with a medical and administrative background are unavailable.

NHS hospital and community health services and general practice (GP) work force (excluding GP retainers)—England at 30 September 2007

Headcount

Percentage

Total employed staff

1,330,544

100

Professionally qualified clinical staff

681,246

51.2

All doctors1,2

127,645

9.6

Qualified nursing staff3

399,597

30.0

Qualified scientific, therapeutic and technical staff

136,976

10.3

Qualified ambulance staff

17,028

1.3

Total clerical and administrative staff4

256,686

19.3

Central functions

128,620

9.7

Hotel, property and estates

8,818

0.7

St and T support

14,391

1.1

Clerical support

101,125

7.6

Ambulance service support

3,732

0.3

Other non-medical staff5

298,097

22.4

Other GP practice staff6

94,515

7.1

1 Excludes GP retainers.

2 Figures exclude HCHS medical hospital practitioners and medical clinical assistants, most of whom are GPs working part time in hospitals who have been excluded to avoid double counting.

3 Nursing and midwifery figures exclude students on training courses leading to a first qualification as a nurse or midwife. Includes GP practice nurses.

4 Examples of staff in central functions are staff in HR, informatics, payroll, and library staff.

Examples of staff in Hotel, property and estates are clerical laundry staff, domestic services and home wardens.

Examples of staff in ST and T support are clerical staff in audiology, haematology, dietetics and microbiology.

Ambulance service support staff are ambulance controllers, training staff and ambulance officers.

5 Other non-medical staff includes ambulance support staff, maintenance and works staff and a small number of other and unknown staff.

6 Other practice staff—there is no breakdown of type of work for headcount data. However type of work is available for full time equivalent practice staff and the majority (over 80 per cent. in 2007) were admin and clerical staff.

Data quality:

Work force statistics are compiled from data sent by more than 300 NHS trusts and primary care trusts (PCTs) in England. The NHS Information Centre for health and social care liaises closely with these organisations to encourage submission of complete and valid data and seeks to minimise inaccuracies and the effect of missing and invalid data. Processing methods and procedures are continually being updated to improve data quality. Where this happens any impact on figures already published will be assessed but unless this is significant at national level they will not be changed. Where there is impact only at detailed or local level this will be footnoted in relevant analyses.

Sources:

1. The NHS Information Centre for health and social care General and Personal medical services statistics

2. The NHS Information Centre for health and social care Medical and Dental Workforce Census

3. The NHS Information Centre for health and social care Non-Medical Workforce Census