NHS staffing tracker

Monitoring and analysis of key workforce targets and trends.

The NHS in England employs some 1.5 million people, making it the country’s biggest employer. However, it is increasingly apparent that the NHS doesn’t have enough staff to meet demand. It is clear that urgent action is needed. In order to monitor key developments in staff numbers and the commitments made to the NHS workforce, this NHS staffing tracker will provide transparency on progress against some important national ambitions regarding the number of GPs, mental health staff, and nurse vacancies.

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Featured chart

Number of GPs 27/05/2021



1. Data are for qualified general practitioners in England.

2. The number of qualified GPs, excluding registrars, start from December 2017 on the chart. The higher GP locum numbers reported in March 2017 are not comparable to previous figures in the time series due to indications that additional guidance has led to more accurate reporting of this group.

3. The initial target of 5,000 more GPs by 2020 begins in the quarter following the publication of the GP Forward View (end of September 2016) and extends to the end of the 2020 calendar year. The most recent target of 6,000 additional GPs by 2024/25 starts at Q4 of 2019/20 on the chart (March 2020), following the 2019 General Election, and ends in Q4 of 2024/25 (March 2025).

4. NHS Digital identified a very likely under-reporting of staff in the March 2020 general practice workforce data. These numbers may be refreshed in due course.


NHS Digital’s General Practice Workforce Statistics

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nhsst 01/04/1920


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