About the workforce census

Through key objective questions, the census allows for essential information about the UK’s paediatric services to be collected and reported for workforce planning and associated activities. The findings also act as a measure against current standards and guidance.

We have devised a new approach for Census 2021, which will allow for a quick and low-burden route for data collection.

Why do we conduct a census?

The workforce census gives us a detailed picture of paediatric and child health services and staffing in the UK. From previous census data, we've released reports on the UK overall, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, as well as a spotlight on SAS doctors and vulnerable children and families workforce.

The data help with workforce planning. We take information about shortages to top-level decision-makers and government to campaign for greater prioritisation of child health workforce. For example, the 100% response rate in Scotland allowed us to successfully argue for an increase in training places in 2019.

Our 2020 Census had to be paused due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Given the unprecedented times, it was essential for us to focus our attention on conducting data collection for the ‘Impact of COVID-19 on child health services’ project to support the domain during the pandemic.

For our 2021 Census, we have devised a new, low-burden route for data collection whereby all Paediatric Consultant and SAS doctors working in the UK are asked to fill in the survey which should take less than 10 minutes to complete. We have significantly reduced the number of questions posed to focus on key objective information at this stage.

Who submits a response and how?

To capture the latest paediatric workforce information, we have moved to an individual response approach for the Census 2021 data collection (the previous method entailed Clinical Leads and Directors responding on behalf of their Trust/ Health Board).

In the new method, Paediatric Consultant and SAS doctors working in the UK will be directed to a form to complete their workforce information (such as place of work and contracted hours etc.) when they log in to our system.

A dedicated microsite has been specifically built for this purpose and integrated into our in-house membership database. The form contains key workforce questions for the respondent to complete and the process should take around 10 minutes or less.

More details on the changes made and why will be available soon.

What information do we collect and when is data collection opening?

We collect data about the paediatric workforce and child health services in the UK. The full 2021 census questions are available to download at the bottom of the page.

Data collection will take place via a dedicated microsite. The form comprises of 20 close-ended questions and should take around 10 minutes or less to complete.

We will be launching at the towards the end of 2021, with data collection remaining open for two months.

1. About you

If you are a Paediatric Consultant or SAS doctor working in the UK, you will have access to the form for completion. Upon signing into the system, you will be asked for Your name, GMC number, and the Trust/ Health Board/equivalent which you work in.

2. About your grade and job type

Information about the grade of your current primary appointment (Consultant, Professor, Reader, Senior Lecturer, Specialty Doctor, Associate Specialist, Staff Grade) and your primary job type - General, community, split general/community, specialist.

3. Specialty

If you are a specialist, we ask for information as to what your primary subspecialty is.

4. Contract

Information about your current working pattern, contract type along with how your contract is measured: programmed activities (PAs) or whole time equivalent (WTE). Other information requested include:

  • Insight about how your PAs are allocated i.e. to direct clinical care, research, leadership, out of hours (OOH), and supporting programmed activities (SPAs).
  • Whether you do on call, how frequently, and whether this is for general, neonatology, or specialist area, and how frequently.

5. Retirement

We ask respondents to provide insight into whether they have a planned retirement age/ age bracket and as well as if they intend to do any further NHS work after retirement.

Census 2020 and COVID-19

Data collection for the latest Census 2020 launched in January 2020 but had to be halted in March 2020 before completion due to the pandemic. It was not possible to resume collecting data as part of the Census 2020. We have therefore launched a new approach to collecting essential workforce information for Census 2021 with a revised question set and new method.

  • Information about our ‘Impact of COVID-19 on child health services tool’ can be accessed here. Below are links to the associated reports: Phase 1 (April- July 2020) report
  • Phase 2 (December 2020- February 2021) Winter Alert system report
  • Prioritising paediatric staff and space so every child has access to care