Collecting your workforce information within primary care settings and services

Closed 6 Apr 2018

Opened 15 Mar 2018


NHS Digital provide information and data to the health service so that it can plan effectively and monitor outcomes. It is responsible for collecting, analysing and publishing health and care data and for ensuring that submitting data is as easy as possible for health and care staff. Our users include individual local NHS organisations, Local Authorities, charities, the Department of Health and Social Care and its Arm’s Length Bodies, academia, the media and the public.

One of our responsibilities, as laid out in the Health and Social Care Act 2012, is to collect data on the workforce providing NHS funded care. At its simplest level, this information is needed to understand the current workforce, support planning for the future and to commission training and education. This will enable the NHS to have the right staff available in the right places and with the right skills to meet patient needs.

Since 2015, information on the general practice workforce has been collected as part of the workforce Minimum Data Set (wMDS), which is a national collection within England encompassing all Hospital and Community Health Services as well as independent healthcare providers.  The workforce Minimum Data Set collects information on staff, professional registration, absence and vacancies for doctors and practice staff including nurses and other staff providing direct patient care, support staff, administrators and other non-clinical personnel. Currently, this collection is focused on those working in the general practice setting only, and excludes other settings where general medical primary care services are provided, such as prisons, out of hours providers and urgent treatment centres.

NHS Digital is therefore working to expand this data collection to include a wider range of settings. This will produce a more complete picture of the general practice workforce, to support recruitment and retention activity, to facilitate workforce planning and to enable commissioners to understand future need.

Why We Are Consulting

NHS Digital has been directed to collect data from you as a provider of general medical primary care services. As a first step, we need to understand more about the data that you already hold for your workforce, and then to work with you to make it as easy as possible for us to collect the data from you on an ongoing basis.

This survey should take between ten and fifteen minutes to complete and we thank you in advance for your help.


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