§ Mr. Andrew Turner
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what information he collates on the average lifetime workload of(a)general practitioners, (b)hospital doctors and (c)nurses. 416W
§ Mr. Hutton
The Department does not currently hold this kind of data. The NHS workforce censuses do identify individuals, and in theory it is possible to track doctors through their working life over time. However, this data source has only existed since 1987, and does not provide enough data to allow us to analyse doctors' whole careers.
This type of analysis may he possible in the future. The Electronic Staff Record, which is anticipated to be fully operational from early 2005, should enable more direct analyses of flows of staff into and out of the NHS. The Department is investigating the practicality of this.
The Department is aware of the importance of participation rates and lifetime working patterns to inform workforce planning. It uses labour force survey data and reviews labour market research to estimate average wastage rates from the qualified workforce. The average wastage rate reveals how many people we might expect to lose from the workforce each year, before we add in the new qualifiers.