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Child and adolescent mental health service workforce database


The Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) Workforce Database is a national web-based database that captures data for all staff delivering clinical care in specialist CAMHS in NHSScotland. The database was released in 2006 and allows users to update records stored in the database in real-time.

A range of demographic, registration, occupation and absence information for staff are entered or updated in the database by lead clinicians. A database extract is taken by NES approximately 14 days after the last day of the previous month. 

What data are published

Four times a year, aggregated staff in post and absence data extracted from the database are released as part of the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service Workforce in NHSScotland publication (31 March, 30 June, 30 September and 31 December census). Prior to extraction, NES work closely with these clinicians to ensure a high level of accuracy.

A range of demographic, occupation and absence information are collected for staff. The key information released in the publication are:

  • Number of staff in post by age band, gender, NHS Board, professional group, agenda for change band or medical grade, contract type and term, area of work and target age.
  • Number of staff by ethnicity.
  • Number of joiners, leavers and turnover rate for each financial year by NHS Board and professional group. 
  • Whole time equivalent staff per 100,000 population by NHS Board and professional group.
  • Percentage of the workforce who are on maternity, paternity or adoption leave, or long term sickness absence. 

The Glossary provides definitions.

Data are available annually at September census from 2006 to 2010, and quarterly from March 2011.


The database holds data of staff who are employed in a clinical role in CAMHS workforce and work in multi-disciplinary professional groups: Medical, Nursing, Psychology, Occupational Therapy, Teachers, Social workers, Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy, Family Therapy, Speech & Language Therapy, Dietetics, Art Therapy, Music Therapy, Physiotherapy, Other (including Healthcare Assistants).

It does not include those employed under paediatrics or staff who provide administrative support to those delivering or managing the service.

For a person in the database to be included in the data extract for the publication the person must be in an active post and not working on a Bank contract type. More specifically, the following conditions are held:

  • Start date is less than or equal to the census date
  • End date is greater than or equal to the census date or it is NULL
  • Conditioned hours is greater than 0
  • Contract type is Permanent Job Share, Permanent, Permanent Secondment, Fixed Term, Fixed Term Job Share, Fixed Term/Temporary, Fixed Term Secondment.

Further information

A key measure in the publication is the number of CAMHS workforce per 100,000 population and CAMHS workforce per 100,000 child and adolescent population (0-18 year old) by NHS Board. The workforce data are derived from the database, and population data sourced from the National Records of Scotland population estimates which are updated annually.

Quality assurance and limitations

Quality assurance

A number of steps are in place to ensure that these data are reported accurately.

  1. The CAMHS database is a dynamic operational system in which the data can change over time due to their live status and potential additional updates made by the service. Accuracy of coding is crucial to the quality and credibility of the data. The responsibility for data accuracy lies with the service providing the data. However, NES seeks to minimise data inaccuracies by maintaining lists of data providers and regularly supplying them with instructions on how to access the system and maintain the data held.

  2. NES ensure that data providers are aware of when the extract will be taken from the CAMHS database.

  3. Prior to the data being extracted from the CAMHS database for publication, NES provides an extract to each data provider to confirm these data are accurate and up-to-date. NES work with these providers to ensure any data are updated ahead of the extract date. 

  4. Once these data have been extracted, NES carry out a second phase of quality assurance. This involves: (i) checking for any errors, or missing values, in the data, and (ii) comparing figures with previous years. When required, NES clarify any large changes in data with data providers.

  5. These data are then processed and reporting software, PowerBI and Excel tables, are then updated so as to include the new data. The outputs are then checked to ensure the values are shown accurately and any additional data intelligence are noted.

  6. These data are part of the two-week early release quality assurance process where the outputs are made available to NHS Boards to confirm as accurate. Communication with NHS Boards over this period allows us to confirm or update any of these data ahead of release to the public.

The above quality assurance processes results in accurate information being released as part of the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service Workforce in NHSScotland publication. Therefore it is unlikely that any significant issues with the data quality would arise after publication. 


As the database are manually updated by Boards, the data may not be updated before the date of the final extract due to job transfers, unavailability of data from sub teams, staff sickness etc. The data providers are aware of this, and make their updates as close as possible to the data extract dates. Any large data quality concerns are noted.

This system allows NES to report the number of staff employed in the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service. This is likely different from the number of staff working at any given time (for example due to rostering or absences).

Only Long term sickness (sickness absence of more than 3 months) are available. Short term sickness absence cannot be reported.