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Focus on physicians: how to use the census data

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How to use the data tools for Focus on physicians, the 2017–18 census of UK consultants and higher specialty trainees.

About the census data tools

The Royal College of Physicians (RCP) has conducted a census of consultant physicians and higher specialty trainees (HSTs) in the UK on behalf of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow for many decades. It provides us with rich data that helps us understand the make-up and state of the medical workforce.

The RCP wants to make sure our fellows and members can also make use of the data to understand what is happening in their area. As well as a short summary report, we produce interactive dashboards that you can download.

We think the most recent dashboards are the most user-friendly yet. If you have any comments or suggestions on how we can improve them, please contact MedicalWorkforce.Unit@rcplondon.ac.uk.

Using the dashboards

The census can help you understand such things as

  • trends in the workforce 2004-17
  • number of consultants or HSTs by specialty, nation and region
  • changes in workforce demographics and working patterns over time
  • number of HSTs who dual accredit in general internal medicine
  • consultant retirements
  • gaps in services
  • how HSTs feel about their specialty and GIM training, and what they think would improve it.

The dashboards are designed to allow you to logically progress from the headline figures to greater detail. They include graphs and full data tables.

Running down the right-hand side of each dashboard is a series of filters. The filters enable you to investigate the data by criteria such as age group, contract, specialty, nation and NHS region.

We hope you find it easy to move around and find the information that most interests you. There’s an index at the beginning, followed by a user guide that explains how to use them.

We are working to make the full census data available online, so you won’t need to download the dashboards. In the meantime, please contact MedicalWorkforce.Unit@rcplondon.ac.uk if you have any comments or suggestions.

Data protection

All data held in our data tools are aggregated and anonymous, and handled in accordance with the Data Protection Act (2018). No data that could identify you will ever be published by us.