Workforce census

The biennial workforce census is an important element in developing College workforce planning policy. It provides members of the College and the public with a unique view of the growth and trends in the UK paediatric workforce.

Workforce Census 2013

Data collection is now open for the 2013 workforce census. Clinical directors/leads at all UK organisations providing child health services have been contacted with details of how to complete their return using our electronic web platform.

Guidance notes on using the census are available here: Census 2013 user guide (PDF, 280 KB, 8 pages).

If you would like to preview the census questions please click here.

If you have any queries regarding the census, please do not hesitate to contact us via email: or by telephone on 0207 092 6163 or 0207 092 6156.

Workforce Census 2011

Results from the College’s 2011 Medical Workforce Census are now available.

Key findings:

  • The overall paediatric career grade workforce in the UK was made up of 4,605 individuals; 3,418 were consultants, 1,067 SSASG doctors and 120 other grades.Census 2011
  • Between 2009 and 2011 there was only a modest growth in consultant numbers (including academics) of 4.7%, and there was a 17% fall in the number of SSASG doctors.
  • London continues to be the best staffed region in relation to the total career grade workforce, with 47.9 WTE paediatricians per 100,000 0-15 year olds, compared to 57.1 in 2009. The lowest ratios are in the East of England (27.2 WTE) and East Midlands (28.2).
  • 2011 saw a concentration of provider organisations with the number of services reducing from 263 in 2009 to 226.
  • In 20-25% of neonatal intensive care units, separate consultant (tier 3) and middle grade (tier 2) rotas do not appear to be present, not complying with BAPM standards and thus potentially giving rise to safety issues.
  • The community paediatric career grade workforce has declined from the 2009 level, particularly in SSASG grades. More lead roles were unfilled in community child health services in 2011 and there has been a slight fall from 18.5% to 17.2% of lead roles filled by SSASG doctors.
  • The 2011 census continued the trends seen since 2001 of increased numbers of specialist paediatricians. Nearly 1,400 (30.3%) career grade paediatricians are now specialists compared to around 700 in 2001.
  • Women represented 48.6% of consultants in 2011, an increase of 2% since 2009. 69% of those registered for training are also women, with higher percentages among those in ST1-3 grades (76%).
  • There has been an increase in part time working, with 20% of consultants now contracted for less than 10 PAs – 17.8% in 2009.

                                  WTE paediatricians per 100,000 children aged 0-15 by SHA/country

wte by children.jpg                                  

The full report and summary can be downloaded here: RCPCH Medical Workforce Census 2011.(PDF, 88 pages, 1.59MB)

Medical Workforce Census 2011 - Executive Summary (PDF, 6 pages, 289.91KB)

Data collection for the 2013 census will commence in Autumn 2013. If there has been a recent change in clinical director in your trust, please update us by emailing

Individual Census 2011

In November 2011 we conducted an individual survey of all consultant and SSASG doctors recorded in the 2009 institutional workforce census. Run alongside the 2011 institutional workforce census, it collected complementary data from individuals on the following areas:

  • Clinical and non-clinical work commitments
  • Involvement in research
  • Attitudes to resident shift working and retirement intentions.

Data from the survey has been used to support other work carried out by the College, including Turning the Tide: Harnessing the power of child health research and the main workforce census. The full report and a summary of the main findings are available to download below:

RCPCH medical workforce individual census 2011 (PDF, 39 pages, 440KB)

Executive summary - RCPCH medical workforce individual census 2011 (PDF, 4 pages, 32KB)

Previous censuses

The RCPCH (as the BPA) undertook its first census of the paediatric workforce in 1986 and has completed a biennial census since 1999.

Read the main findings from RCPCH censuses from 1999 to 2009 with links to the full reports.

Department of Health, NHS and other national census information


The Health and Social Care Information Centre has produced the NHS Hospital and Community Health Service (HCHS) Workforce Statistics in England, Medical and Dental Staff 2002-2012, as at 30th September. This was published 21 March 2013.

The NHS Information Centre produces its workforce statistics annually. The 2011 figures were published on 22 March 2012 and can be found in NHS Staff 2001 - 2011 (Medical and Dental).


NHS Scotland Workforce Statistics are produced by ISD Scotland.


Information on hospital medical staff by grade and specialty in Wales can be found on the Health Statistics Wales pages of the Welsh Assembly Government website.

Northern Ireland

Details on the medical workforce in Northern Ireland is collected in the Northern Ireland Health and Social Care Workforce Census 2011.


If you have any queries about the RCPCH Workforce Census please contact:


Telephone: 020 7092 6162