About the workforce census

Our census gathers data on the UK's paediatric services and acts as a measure against current standards and guidance.

Current status of the census

Data collection for the latest census launched in January 2020 but was halted in March 2020 before completion due to the pandemic. We are now reviewing the incomplete dataset collected and determining next steps. 

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 the 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.

For the 2020 census, we also sent each Trust and Health Board a bespoke report about their service immediately after receiving their response. This included summary statistics on staffing, rotas and community child health services.

Who submits a response?

We asked clinical leads and directors to lead on the census response for their Trust or Health Board. If you are a new clinical lead or director, let us know so we can update our records - email us at workforce@rcpch.ac.uk.

Other colleagues in the Trust or Health Board could also help to submit data, such as:

  • named and designated safeguarding doctors
  • rota coordinator(s)
  • Community Child Health lead(s)
  • Human Resources colleagues

What information do we collect?

We collect data about the paediatric workforce and child health services in the UK. The full 2020 census questions are available to download at the bottom of the page.

Data was collected via an online platform built by the software company, NetSolving - read or download our detailed user guide.

Where possible, we pre-loaded data from the previous census response on to the data collection system so it could be reviewed and amended as needed. Here's a summary of the sections.

1. About the organisation

Information at service provider level, including organisation type, services provided and clinical director or lead paediatrician’s contact details.

2. Hospital services

Information at hospital level, including:

  • type of services provided
  • short stay paediatric assessment units
  • provision of care for children and young people seen in emergency departments

3. Hospital rotas

Information about the general paediatric inpatient and neonatal rotas as of 31 January 2020, including:

  • information about the rota tier
  • total number of posts and whole time equivalent (WTE) on the rota
  • type of doctor staffing the rota
  • number of vacant posts
  • details about non-standard arrangements

4. Medical staffing

Information about paediatric medical staff working in your Trust/Health Board as of 31 January 2020, including:

  • consultants, professors, senior lecturers, and readers
  • associate specialists, staff grades, and specialty doctors
  • aggregate data about Trust/Locally Employed Doctors, Advanced Nurse Practitioners and Physician Associates

The census does not capture information about trainee doctors, as this is available from other sources.

5. Vacancies

Information about each vacant career grade post within the organisation.

6. Safeguarding and child protection

Information about named, designated and other lead roles. Also, the provision of safeguarding services, including:

  • physical abuse service
  • child sexual abuse service
  • sudden unexpected death in infancy (SUDI) / procedural response to unexpected death in childhood (PRUDIC) service.

7. Community child health services

Information about community child health services, including:

  • types of clinics
  • services offered
  • demand for services.

Read or download our detailed user guide