What we are doing
The census of consultant physicians is an annual project, conducted by the Royal College of Physicians of London (RCP) on behalf of the Federation of the Royal Colleges of Physicians of the UK, that collects data about the consultant physician workforce.
The census provides essential information for all our workforce planning and surrounding strategy. Census ﬁndings are used as a historical record of the consultant workforce as well as a source of evidence for future Federation of Royal Colleges of Physicians’ policy.
Results from the census are also used by specialty societies and external agencies such as Health Education England, the Centre for Workforce Intelligence and the National Audit Ofﬁce. Since 2006, the RCP has also included registrar data in this report taken from an annual Higher Specialty Trainee census and the JRCPTB database.
The key questions asked in the census can be broadly broken down into the following categories:
- consultant numbers
- appointment of consultants
- retirement intentions and employment prospects
- gender of the consultant physician workforce
- time worked and contracted
- on-call commitments
- appraisal and study leave
- quality of care and job satisfaction.
The census is a ﬂexible document which also allows us to focus on contemporary and important issues, such as out-of-hours and 7-day working. Furthermore, it collects data for individual specialties. As the methodology and software used to collect these data have become increasingly sophisticated over time, we have been able to understand demographic changes and working patterns within the many medical specialties.