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The NHS is Scotland's biggest employer and its workforce has a significant role to play in the delivery of quality services that meet the needs of patients, their families and the general public in a modern health service.

These pages provide information on the people working for NHSScotland, providing details on Doctors and Dentists, Nurses and Midwives, Allied Health Professionals and all the Other Staff groups that make up the workforce of the NHS in Scotland. This information is used to support local, regional and national workforce planning.

We produce quarterly reports of all staff employed by NHSScotland as at census dates of 31 March, 30 June, 30 September and 31 December. Data are collected via HR, Payroll and Medical Training programme management applications among other sources.

NHS Education for Scotland (NES) is the source for Official Statistics on the NHSScotland Workforce. NES works to the Code of Practice for Official Statistics which is maintained by the UK Statistics Authority (UKSA). We work to ensure the statistics we produce meet the three pillars of this code; Trustworthiness, Quality and Value.

Recent News and Updates

Review into Location of Service Delivery and Country of Qualification data

August 2021

We have completed a review into the Location of Service Delivery and Country of Qualification data in the NHSScotland Workforce publication to ensure it meets the Official Statistics standard. This means checking the Trustworthiness, Quality and Value as outlined in the Code of Practice for Statistics

We have analysed the feedback provided by users and a short summary of the outcome of this review, and how it will affect Official Statistics reporting, is below. Full details, including proposed plans, are available.

Please get in touch with us if you have any questions. 

Location of Service Delivery (LoSD)

In its current state, LoSD has reduced value to our users because of the quality of data. However, reporting grouped location data would be of value to many users if it can be robust. This is something that has also been recognised in other projects.

In order to understand and assess the requirements for reporting location groupings in more detail we propose running a workshop with key stakeholders. Whilst this assessment is undertaken, we will continue to publish LoSD with a note identifying that it is under review. 

Country of Qualification (CoQ)

Responses from data providers highlighted that there are two places which CoQ can be sourced: (i) the professional body section in eESS and (ii) the GMC interface. The first is currently used to report the data. Respondents overwhelmingly do not use CoQ data from this source for reporting or analysis because there is no business need.

We will report CoQ data as it is sourced in the forthcoming Workforce Official Statistics publication (30 June census released 7 September). Thereafter, these data will not be released as part of the publication. We will continue to monitor information requests which could be answered using these data.


Review of Age data published

June 2020

The Data Group have undertaken an assessment of the publication of granular age data in collaboration with Information Governance. In summary, we acknowledge that the age of workforce staff should be treated as a protected characteristic and is personal data in accordance with data protection law. For this reason, from the 2 June 2020 publication (31 March 2020 census date), we have removed the data available at a level below NHSScotland and staff group. 

It is important that we continue to supply colleagues working in workforce planning, reporting and intelligence with the appropriate level of age information so that their work is undisrupted. Therefore, Management Information dashboards with full age data are available to authenticated individuals via TDI. 

This has been communicated with our colleagues and stakeholders across NHS Boards and the Scottish Government. If you require to access the age data, please get in touch by emailing the


Transfer of statistics from ISD to NES

From 1 October 2019, responsibility for some national workforce data, statistical & intelligence function transferred from ISD to NHS Education for Scotland (NES).

A joint letter by the Chief Executives of NSS and NES, dated 23 August 2019, details the rationale for the changes and arrangements for the transfer of these functions.

Publications prior to 3 December 2019 can be accessed via the Public Health Scotland (previously ISD Scotland) Workforce publication page.