NI Health and Social Care Workforce Census – March 2016

Date published: 23 August 2016

The Department of Health today released details of the NI Health and Social Care (HSC) Workforce Census as at 31 March 2016.

Northern Ireland Health & Social Care Workforce Census

This statistical publication presents an analysis of staff in post by occupational family, organisation, gender, working pattern and age. Summary information on staff turnover is also included.

The publication covers the majority of HSC hospital, community and social services workforce (63,412 staff in post or 54,920 whole-time equivalent [WTE]). Bank/sessional staff are excluded, as are members of staff on career breaks, Chairpersons/Members of Boards and those recorded with less than 0.03 WTE. Home helps/domiciliary care staff have also been excluded, as their recorded whole-time equivalent currently does not reflect their contribution to the service. 

Key Points

  • the Belfast HSC Trust was the largest Trust and the largest HSC Organisation employing 31% of all HSC staff (17,181 WTE) at March 2016
  • the largest Occupational Family was Nursing, Midwifery and Health Visiting with 19,013 WTE. They represented 35% of the workforce by WTE
  • the Medical and Dental workforce stood at 4,378 (4,002 WTE). Forty per cent (1,613 WTE) were graded as Consultants
  • of all staff, 38% (20,895 WTE) were employed in Agenda for Change Pay Bands 1-4
  • seventy-nine per cent of staff were female, and 55% (by headcount) worked full-time

Notes to editors: 

The publication is published on the Departmental website 

The information was collected from the Human Resources, Payroll, Travel and Subsistence database which is maintained by the various HSC organisations. The analyses presented in the publication exclude bank staff (who fill staffing shortfalls to maintain service delivery). These staff were excluded because, due to the variable nature of their work, their WTE input to the service is difficult to measure. Home helps/domiciliary care staff have also been excluded from this edition, as their recorded whole-time equivalent currently does not reflect their contribution to the service. Figures also exclude staff on career breaks, non-Trust staff and Chairpersons/Members of Boards. Note this publication does not report on General Practitioners and General Dental Practitioners as they are independent contractors rather than employees of HSC organisations.

WTE (Whole Time equivalent) is calculated by aggregating the total number of hours staff in a particular grade are contracted to work and dividing by the standard hours for that grade. In this way, part-time staff are converted into an equivalent number of 'whole-time' staff.

Regional Services includes the following organisations: Business Services Organisation, Public Health Agency, Patient Client Council, Ambulance Service (NIAS), Blood Transfusion Service (NIBTS), Guardian Ad Litem Agency (NIGALA), Practice & Education Council (NIPEC), Social Care Council (NISCC), Health & Social Care Board, Regulation & Quality Improvement Authority and Medical & Dental Training Agency (NIMDTA).

5.    Additional Information.

Further information on the NI HSC Workforce is available from:

Workforce Section
Project Support Analysis Branch
Department of Health
Annexe 2, Castle Buildings

Tel:            028 90 522342


For media inquiries about this press release contact DoH Press Office on 028 9052 0567. Out of office hours please contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 076 9971 5440 and your call will be returned. Follow us on Twitter @healthdpt

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