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NHS Workforce Census Published

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 years 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 here.

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