The NHS in numbers

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Graph sheets

21 / 7 / 2015 10am

NHS Confederation has released key statistics about the NHS workforce, which you may find useful when compiling reports and for sharing with your team.

All statistics were updated in July 2015 and apply to England unless otherwise stated.

NHS staff

  • In 2014 the NHS employed 150,273 doctors, 377,191 qualified nursing staff, 155,960 qualified scientific, therapeutic and technical staff and 37,078 managers. 
  • There were 32,467 additional doctors employed in the NHS in 2014 compared to 2004. The number has increased by an annual average of 2.5 per cent over that time.
  • There were 18,432 more NHS nurses in 2014 compared to ten years earlier. The number has increased by an annual average of 0.5 per cent over that period.
  • There were 5,729 more GPs and 1,688 more practice nurses employed by GPs in 2014 than ten years earlier.
  • There were 12,432 more qualified allied health professionals in 2014 compared to 2004. However the number of qualified healthcare scientists has declined for each of the past five years, with the number in 2014 874 below that of 2004.
  • 50.6 per cent of NHS employees are professionally qualified clinical staff. A further 26.0 per cent provide support to clinical staff in roles such as nursing assistant practitioners, nursing assistant/auxiliaries and healthcare assistants.
  • An NHS Partners Network survey shows that more than 69,000 individuals are involved in providing front-line services to NHS patients among their membership. Approximately two-thirds are clinicians.
  • Since 2004 the number of professionally qualified clinical staff within the NHS has risen by 12.7 per cent. This rise includes an increase in doctors of 27.6 per cent; a rise in the number of nurses of 5.1 per cent; and 8.1 per cent more qualified ambulance staff.
  • Medical school intake rose from 3,749 in 1997/98 to 6,262 in 2012/13 - a rise of 67.0 per cent. 

NHS management

  • Managers and senior managers accounted for 2.67 per cent of the 1.388 million staff employed by the NHS in 2014.
  • The number of managers and senior managers increased slightly in 2014, having declined in each of the previous four years. However 37,078 was the second lowest total since 2004.
  • In 2008/09 the management costs of the NHS had fallen from 5.0 per cent in 1997/98 to 3.0 per cent.

Providers and commissioners of NHS services

In England there are currently:

  • 209 clinical commissioning groups (including 199 now authorised without conditions)
  • 155 acute trusts (including 100 foundation trusts)
  • 56 mental health trusts (including 43 foundation trusts) 
  • 34 community providers (15 NHS trusts, 3 foundation trusts and 16 social enterprises)
  • 10 ambulance trusts (including 5 foundation trusts)
  • c.8,000 GP practices
  • 853 for-profit and not-for-profit independent sector organisations, providing care to NHS patients from 7,331 locations.

For more statistics on funding, patient experience and international comparisons please see the full set of figures on the NHS Confederation website.

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