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A total number of 8,830 full-time equivalent (FTE) direct patient care staff were working for a primary care network (PCN) in England at the end of December 2021, latest data from the NHS Digital revealed.

Of the total, 2,923 FTE were pharmacists, which are the most common job role within the PCN workforce.

The bulk of the PCN workforce comprises direct patient care staff, funded by the Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme (ARRS), and each PCN provides information about the workforce to be recorded in the National Workforce Reporting Service (NWRS).

Presenting the data, the NHS Digital stated that completeness and coverage of PCN workforce data is improving and more PCNs are using the platform.

“We are continuing to monitor progress with the aim of moving to a monthly extraction of PCN workforce data when data quality allows.”

The department is also planning to launch a quarterly publication, focusing on staff working in general practice, including ad-hoc locums, along with those working in PCNs and other settings such as A&E.

The first experimental edition is likely to be published in Spring 2022 and include workforce data for all staff groups for September and December 2021.

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