GIRFT Medical workforce snapshot survey - instructions for general paediatrics

The snapshot survey is designed to be run twice - once on Wednesday 18 September and again on Saturday 21 September. It is expected that the general paediatric questionnaire will be completed by the Clinical Lead, with assistance from the unit manager/co-ordinator. We provide full instructions and the data entry sheets.

We have emailed separate spreadsheets for each of the survey days, and these, along with the privacy policy, can be downloaded below.

You can find out more about this project on our GIRFT page.


The form has been designed to be as self-explanatory as possible, but a few notes are included below to assist with the completion of the form. We estimate that this should only take 20 minutes to complete.

  • Trust/Health Board name – please select from the drop-down list, which is in alphabetical order.
  • Hospital name – this will be a list of hospitals run by your Trust/Health Board
  • Name of person completing survey and email address – in case we need to contact you
  • Date of survey – this should be 18 September (weekday survey) or 21 September (weekend day survey). If there is a strong reason why you cannot complete the survey on these two days, please contact us as soon as possible.

Section A – Medical Staffing

This section aims to identify the number of staff who are scheduled on the rota, and the number that actually worked a shift during the survey 24-hour period.

  • Scope – please include staff rostered for inpatient paediatric general and acute care, including those covering on-call, Children’s Assessment Unit and A&E.
  • Shift times – the survey form allows for an evening shift, but if you run two shifts in 24 hours, then please leave this blank and simply complete the Day Shift and Night Shift columns.
  • Grade – indicate the number of staff at each grade working on each tier of the rota. If there are no staff of a listed grade, leave blank. All grades are listed for all tiers of the rota, to allow indication of acting down. Please get in touch if there is someone working on the rota who is not captured in the list of grades given.
  • First rota table - enter the number of staff who are scheduled to be on each shift according to the rota when it is fully staffed.
  • Second rota table - enter the number of staff that actually worked on each shift. Please also enter the total number in the final column, noting that this may be less than the sum of the day, evening and night shifts if any of the tier 3 doctors work both day and night.
  • Locum cover – for each rota tier and shift time, please indicate the number of internal and external locums working on the rota that day. An external locum is defined as someone who is paid through an agency. An internal locum is part of the permanent/salaried workforce and is completing the shift in addition to their normal rostered hours.
  • Reasons for gaps – please select the tick boxes indicating the reasons for any rota gaps. If there is a reason not listed, tick ‘other’ and specify in the box below.

Section B – Non-Medical Staffing

Please only tick the box if you had a member of that profession actually working in your unit during the 24-hour period of the survey.

Section C – Service

  • Number of beds that the general paediatric team are responsible for – please indicate all open beds, whether filled or not. If there are different numbers across the 24-hour period,
  • please enter the maximum number.
  • CAU questions – only answer if you have a CAU. See definition (PDF).

Section D – Activity levels

  • Admissions – Enter admissions to the general paediatric ward covering the 24 hour period since the start of the day shift
  • Referrals – Include CYP referred from GP/out of hours and seen in the Emergency Department but not admitted to the ward or seen on CAU

Guidance for tertiary centres

If you are a tertiary centre, please still fill in the survey but only focus on secondary general paediatrics and the staff covering that service.

Our aim is to compare scheduled staffing with actual staffing, so do not worry if your reported staffing numbers seem high compared to the number of general paediatric cases.

The form aims to capture general paediatric workload, and so includes patients using a hospital at home service.

  • Rota questions – Include those expected to see the general paediatric referrals that day, contributing to the on-call rota and doctors holding an on-call bleep, T1, T2 and T3.
  • Grades on rota - Tertiary and community grades are included in the list of options only to capture exceptional circumstances where those individuals are covering general paediatrics. We do not want to capture tertiary activity.  
  • Nurses – Include the number of nurses that are covering any wards with general paediatric patients and exclude those only covering wards with only sub-specialist cases.
  • Activity – Handover sheets may be helpful to collect general paediatric inpatient admissions.

Submission of results

Once you have entered all of the doctors’ questionnaire results, then please return the following two files to by 30 September 2019.


If you have any queries with the completion of the form, please contact the Workforce team at the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health at