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Advanced Nurse Practitioners (ANP)

An ANP is an experienced and highly educated Registered Nurse who manages the complete clinical care for their patient, not solely any specific condition. Advanced practice is a level of practice, rather than a type or speciality of practice.

ANPs are educated at Masters Level in advanced practice and are assessed as competent in this level of practice. As a clinical leader they have the freedom and authority to act and accept the responsibility and accountability for those actions. This level of practice is characterised by high level autonomous decision making, including assessment, diagnosis, treatment including prescribing, of patients with complex multi-dimensional problems. Decisions are made using high level expert, knowledge and skills. This includes the authority to refer, admit and discharge within appropriate clinical areas.

Working as part of the multidisciplinary team ANPs can work in or across all clinical settings, dependant on their area of expertise.

Agenda for Change (AfC)

The national NHS pay system which introduced new pay bands and harmonised terms and conditions for NHS workforce. It came into effect, across the UK, on 1st December 2004 and replaced the previous Whitley council system. It applies to all staff groups except Medical and Dental.

Allied Health professions (AHPs)

The Allied Health Professions are a distinct group of healthcare professionals who apply their expertise to diagnose, treat and rehabilitate people of all ages and all specialties. AHPs are distinct from medicine, pharmacy and nursing and include professions such as physiotherapy, dietetics, speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, podiatry.

Census date

Dates at which data are collected at specified points of the year for workforce monitoring purposes. Workforce census dates are based on financial year quarters: Q1 – 30th June, Q2 – 30th September, Q3 – 31st December & Q4 – 31st March.

Child & Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS)

Delivered by multidisciplinary teams including psychiatrists, psychologists, nurses, social workers, allied health professionals and others. The main function of CAMHS is to develop and deliver services for those children and young people (and their parents/carers) who are experiencing the most serious mental health problems. They also have an important role in supporting the mental health capability of the wider network of children’s services.

Clinical fellowships

Specialty training posts which allow the post holder to spend 25% of their time on academic training as well as 75% in clinical training, and prepare for an application for a training fellowship for a higher degree.

Community nurse

Term used to describe staff involved in providing nursing care to patients in a community setting, for example in their own home. They aim to enable patients to remain at home where possible and to assist individuals to improve, maintain or recover from their health condition and to provide support and care to those with life limiting illnesses.


Doctors who have had a minimum of six years training in their specialty (these consultants are listed on the GMC’s specialist register) and directors of public health (see The Association of Directors of Public Health for more information).

Dental officer and Senior dental officer

Salaried dentists paid a salary by their employing NHS board.

Doctor in training

Doctors who have completed the Foundation programme but are still receiving training (normally in a specialty).

Electronic employee support system (e:ESS)

e:EES is a single national HR system for all boards in NHSScotland. The system is currently being rolled out across NHSScotland. It will hold and manage employment information for all staff employed by NHSScotland’s 14 territorial and 8 special health boards. e:EES will be a common national repository of workforce information. Rollout is due to be completed by mid 2020


Term used in calculating NHSScotland vacancy information to describe total filled and vacant posts by discipline and specialty type e.g. paediatric nurse. Establishment is calculated by adding the number of staff in post to the number of vacant posts.

Foundation Year 1 and 2

Doctors who are on an integrated two-year Foundation programme. Completion of FY1 allows junior doctors to gain full registration with the GMC and completion of FY2 allows them to apply for further study and training in a specialised area of medicine

General practitioner contractor database (GPCD)

A centralised database of GP and general practice details, held by ISD but with data maintained by NHS Boards. Its principal purpose is to hold Performer List information for all NHS Board areas in Scotland. Data are held on General Practices in Scotland, GPs (incl. performers; GP principals), their practice population sizes, and contract details - all in relation to new General Medical Services (nGMS) contract. This is soon to be replaced by the National Primary Care Clinician Database (NPCCD).

General dental service (GDS)

NHS general dental services are provided by general dental practitioners, under a national contract between themselves and the NHS Boards. General dental practitioners are independent contractors. They are free to choose whether to join a NHS Board's dental list and whether to provide NHS dental treatment to each individual patient.

Hard to recruit

Term used in workforce vacancy collection. Posts which remain vacant after a minimum of 6 months, where a reasonable effort has been made to fill these vacancies.

Hospital, community, and public health services (HCHS)

Includes all medical and dental staff directly employed by the boards, does not include general practitioners or the general dental service.


The actual number of individuals working within NHSScotland. The Scotland figure eliminates any double counting that may exist as a result of an employee holding more than one post.

Healthcare science staff

Staff group which play a vital role in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of a huge number of medical conditions, as well as in rehabilitation.

Job Plan

A consultant job plan is a prospective agreement that sets out a consultant’s duties, responsibilities and objectives for the coming year. The job plan is divided into programmed activities(PA’s). The contract is based on a full-time work commitment of 10 programmed activities (PAs) per week, each having a timetabled value of four hours. These PA’s are divided into four categories, Direct Clinical Care(DCC), Supporting Professional Activities(SPA), Additional responsibilities and external duties and Extra Programmed Activities(EPA).

Locum Appointment in Service (LAS)

A locum (temporary) post for which the post-holder (doctor) provides only service. LAS posts do not provide training that is recognised by a deanery or Royal College as counting as towards the Certificate of Completion of Training.

Locum Appointment in Training (LAT)

A locum (temporary) post for which the post-holder (doctor) is assigned both a clinical supervisor and an educational supervisor. LAT posts are approved training posts recognised by a deanery or Royal College which can contribute towards the Certificate of Completion of Training.

Management information and dental accounting system (MIDAS)

System in which supplies an extract of General Dental Services (GDS) data. Data are extracted annually on 30th September.

Medical and dental staff

The medical and dental staff group includes consultants, staff and associate specialist grades, doctors in training & other trained grades Non-salaried dentists A dentist which is typically a self-employed contractor who is paid according to the work they have completed.

Medical Grade

To find out more about Grades of the HCHS medical and dental workforce, please visit the British Medical Association’s guide to medical training pathway or Doctors' titles: explained.

Public Dental Service (PDS)

Introduced in January 2014 and brings together the previously separate salaried and community dentists. Salaried dentists are directly employed by NHS boards and provided an alternative service to independent dentists where this is considered the best solution to meet local needs. People can also register with salaried dentists. Historically, the Community Dental Service (CDS) provided a 'safety net' dental service for people who were unable to obtain care from independent dentists (through the General Dental Service (GDS)), such as patients with special care needs or patients living in areas where there were few NHS dentists providing GDS.

Salaried dentists

A dentist which is employed within or by an NHS organisation, and mainly works in a primary care or community setting. These provide an alternative service to the contracted General Dental Practitioners, in order to meet the needs of the local population. From January 2014 salaried dentists became part of the Public Dental Service.

Scottish Workforce Information Services System (SWISS)

The main source of workforce statistics is SWISS (Scottish Workforce Information Standard System). Workforce information was first captured through SWISS in 2007 for the data as at 30th September 2007. It included all workforce data with the exception of the medical and dental data which are collected by MIDAS.

Specialty doctor

Doctors who have gained some experience within their specialty such as associate specialist, clinical medical officer and hospital practitioner.

Staff In Post

The number of people, measured using Headcount, or the Whole Time Equivalent, who are currently employed doing a certain role. This differs from Establishment which includes vacant posts.


The rate at which employees leave the workforce. Turnover is calculated by dividing the number of leavers over the year by the staff in post at the start of the period. The number of leavers is derived by comparing staff employed by NHSScotland at two census points.


A vacancy is a post which has been cleared for advert after being through the redeployment process (internal or external advert) and remains a vacancy until an individual starts in the post.

Whitley council system

The old NHS pay system which was replaced by the Agenda for Change (AfC) on the 1stof December 2004.

Whole Time Equivalent (WTE)

Sometimes called full time equivalent (FTE) in other organisations. WTE is derived by dividing the number of contracted hours by the number of hours worked (conditioned hours). WTE is sometimes a more useful measurement than headcount because it adjusts headcount figures to take account of part time working i.e. 1 person may work 20 hours a week so headcount could make the workforce appear inflated.

Workforce datamart

The workforce datamart is used to produce national statistics and respond to information requests. The datamart collates historic data sources such as MIDAS, GP data, and houses monthly snap-shots taken from the SWISS. As SWISS is a dynamic database where data on staff details can be changed on a daily basis, historic information is not preserved. The monthly SWISS snap-shots housed within this data mart preserve historic details and therefore support national, regional and local workforce planning.

Workforce Information Repository (WIR)

Data, from NHSScotland boards, are collected electronically and feeds into the Workforce Information Repository (WIR), either nightly (Payroll and web front-end updates) or weekly (HR interface updates). The WIR is part of the SWISS system.