Workforce Census 2022 - Overview of our key findings and recommendations

The RCPCH Workforce Census 2022 provides an overview of paediatric and child health workforce, focusing on consultants and SAS doctors working in the UK. This report highlights key findings from the full-length report and includes three key recommendations.
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Last modified
25 October 2022

Following are summaries of our recommendations and key findings from the census, which was conducted in early 2022. For more details you can download our overview report below. And for the full details, including more detailed findings and our methodolgy, you can also access our full report.


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Each nation should develop a bespoke child health workforce strategy.

Plans should respond to immediate needs and financial pressures, taking into account emerging models of care to deliver professional and service standards. This includes developing a multi-disciplinary workforce in all parts of the UK that supports a whole system approach. Plans should be based on robust data, future trend modelling and consultation with children and young people (CYP).

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NHS organisations and senior leaders should support the wellbeing of the child health workforce and modern ways of working.

This should include protecting staff from burnout, developing an inclusive and caring environment, looking positively on requests for flexible working and better understanding the workplace culture, including why people may choose to leave.

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NHS organisations and senior leaders should ensure equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) are integral to workforce planning.

This should include setting up EDI initiatives and groups to ensure the workforce and leadership reflects the diversity of the population that it serves and establishing inclusive working needs, including for those with neurodiversity and accessibility needs. It should also include monitoring and measuring EDI processes and providing training on the importance of diversity.

Key findings

Primary job and subspecialty

Note PAs means Programmed Activities.

There is a statistically higher than expected number of community paediatricians working less than full time compared to generalists and specialists
The average number of PAs for full time working goes beyond the recommended contractual ten PAs for most sub-specialties

Contract and working patterns

There are more female paediatricians working less than full time (40.8%) than male (12.9%); this is in the context of female paediatricians comprising 61% of the workforce within the Census

 Supporting professional activities

Regional breakdown of full time supporting professional activities (SPAs) show that, with the exception of the North East, none reach the recommended 2.5 SPAs per week

 On-call duties

On-call duties were reported by 64.8% consultants and 44.4% SAS doctors
Consultants undertaking on-call duties: 37.8% female, 12.9% male with a higher proportion of women performing on-call duties across all frequency groups; this is in the context of female paediatricians making up 61% of the workforce within the Census. 50.8% working full time; 14% less than full time.
23% of respondents are undertaking on-call duties at 1:5 or more frequently


17.5% of respondents indicated that they wish to retire before 60; the average age of these respondents was under 50 years
A statistically higher-than-expected number of London-based paediatricians predict that they will retire later than other regions

Retire and return 

18% of respondents stated that they intend to return to work for the NHS after retirement. 30% stated that they had no intention of returning to work after retirement. Half were unsure.

Equality, diversity and inclusivity (previously collected information in Census respondents only) 

A third of respondents identified as having a disability or long-term condition, and of those who did over three-quarters did not face a barrier or limitation

See our full report.