Northern Ireland Health and Social Care Workforce Census – March 2015

Date published: 17 September 2015

The Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety today released details of the Northern Ireland Health and Social Care (HSC) Workforce at 31 March 2015.

Northern Ireland Health & Social Care Workforce Census

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

The publication covers the majority of the hospital, community and social services workforce (62,746 staff in post or 54,086 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 within Northern Ireland, employing 31% of all HSC staff (17,017 WTE) at March 2015.
  • The largest occupational family was nursing, midwifery and health visiting with 18,633 WTE. They represented 34% of the workforce by WTE.
  • The medical and dental workforce, including NIMDTA, stood at 4,344 (3,938 WTE). Forty per cent (by WTE) were graded as consultants.
  • Of all staff, 38% (20,719 WTE) were employed in agenda for change pay bands 1-4.
  • Seventy-nine per cent of staff were female, and 54% (by headcount) worked full-time.

Notes to editors: 

  1. The Bulletin is published on the Departmental website at Staff numbers
  2. The information was collected from the Human Resources, Payroll, Travel and Subsistence database 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.
  3. 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.
  4. A full report of the March 2015 Vacancy Survey, as at the same date as the Census, can be found online
  5. Regional Services includes the following organisations: Business Services Organisation, the Public Health Agency, the Patient Client Council, the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service HSC Trust, the Northern Ireland Blood Transfusion Service, the Northern Ireland Guardian Ad Litem Agency, the Northern Ireland Practice & Education Council, the Northern Ireland Social Care Council, the Health & Social Care Board and the Regulation & Quality Improvement Authority. In addition, for the first time we have been able to include the Northern Ireland Medical and Dental Training Agency in the analysis.
  6. Further information on the NI HSC Workforce is available from Public Health Information and Research Branch
  7. Media queries to DHSSPS Press Office on 02890 520074, or out of office hours 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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