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NHS Digital september extract and Locum changes

Please see below a link to the latest communication in relation to WMDS and recording of locum GPs and practice vacancies. This is due to go out to practices today and is unfortunately a contractual obligation. In short, following feedback from GP practices via LMCs, NHS Digital have made some changes hopefully to make it simpler for practices to complete.

  1. There is no need to upload workforce data again if there are no changes. A simple notification on PCWT (Primary Care Web Tool: https://www.primarycare.nhs.uk) stating that there are no changes will suffice. The PCWT is a 24/7 365 days a year system. It allows practices to update their workforce information at any time. Alternatively, if they are providing data via the HEE collection tool, they can continue to do that, but just need to notify PCWT that they are using the HEE collection tool.
  2. WMDS always counted ‘regular’ locums as salaried. This is one of the reasons why the salaried GPs number always looked a little inflated and the locum GPs number a little deflated - this will not change. Going forward, practices will be asked to indicate the total number of hours a particular ‘infrequent’ locum GP worked in their practice during the previous quarter. They don’t need to keep a running total as such, but can use the IT system to calculate the total amount of hours they were logged on, or simply add up the hours using their invoices. This will help with the WTE figures, but will naturally not make any difference to the head count.
  3. 3. There is a push to indicate the practice vacancies on the WMDS - this is very important for us as well to emphasise the workforce shortages.

GPC will continue to work with NHS Digital to make sure that the process is made as simple as possible whilst improving the accuracy of the information captured about the GP workforce. If you have any issues with this please do let the LMC know so that we can feed them back to GPC and NHS Digital promptly.

Click here to download the document "NHS Digital september extract and Locum changes".

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