RCPCH publishes results from workforce census

In January 2022 we asked paediatric consultants and SAS doctors working in the UK for information about their roles, responsibilities, and their views on retirement.
Icons: Document with pencil; cog with children; paper pad with clinical notes

1,515 doctors responded to the national survey and today we launch a full report of our findings, and a separate overview report.

In terms of a wider breakdown across the four nations coverage, most respondents are general paediatricians (41.5%) followed by specialists (37.2%) and community child health paediatricians (18.3%).

A snapshot of our findings from 1515 SAS and consultant doctors:

  • Almost 30% of consultant and 33% of SAS doctors are working less than full time.
  • There are more female paediatricians working less than full time than male.
  • 17.5% of respondents indicated that they wish to retire before 60; the average age of these respondents was under 50 years.
  • Almost 18% of respondents stated that they intend to return to work for the NHS after retirement, while 30% said they had no intention of returning to work after retirement.
  • A statistically higher-than-expected number of London-based paediatricians predict that they will retire later than other regions.

Key recommendations 

The statistics make it clear that further work is needed to better support the paediatric workforce. As part of our report, we have outlined three key recommendations and steps which government and arm's length bodies can do to take these forward. The overarching recommendations are: 

  1. Each nation should develop a bespoke child health workforce strategy
  2. NHS organisations and senior leaders should support the wellbeing of the child health workforce and modern ways of working
  3. NHS organisations and senior leaders should ensure equality, diversity and inclusion are integral to workforce planning

A full set of findings and recommendations in greater detail can be found in the full report, and report overview

What RCPCH is going to do next

The paediatric workforce is a priority focus for RCPCH. Over the coming year, we will be working hard on our programmes relating to the development, retention and support of the workforce, including data requirements.

We are also in the process of setting up a Workforce Planning Board to help in our programmes, many thanks to those who have applied to be a part of this.

As our work develops, we will continue to update you through our bulletins. Please check out the workforce information and planning pages for more information about our work.