Dental workforce collection guidance

Guidance to support completion of the dental workforce collection.

Introduction

A revised biannual workforce collection for contractors to complete on the 1 April and 1 October will be in place for financial year 2023/24.

Completion of the form is mandatory for all current General Dental Services (GDS) contracts and Personal Dental Services (PDS) agreements in England, regardless of whether they are paid by the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA), to support the integrated care board’s (ICBs) commissioning function.

The data from the workforce collection form submissions is important because it will provide high-quality data regarding the dental workforce which will support ICBs with their commissioning function, support NHS England with dental system reform and an understanding of the following:

  • Trends regarding retention and recruitment of staff;
  • NHS workforce available and NHS capacity.

This guidance sets out the arrangements and principles for completion of the workforce collection form.

Definition of terms

To aid with the understanding of this document the following terms are used with the attached meaning:

Full Time Equivalent (FTE) – Full-time equivalent is a standardised measure of the workload of an employed person. For the purposes of workforce statistics, NHS England define full-time working to be 37.5 hours per week.                

Headcount – The term “headcount” relates to distinct individuals and covers all members of staff.           

Completion of the workforce collection

The workforce collection must be completed at contract level by the contractor/business owner.

  • The data submitted should provide a summary for each staff group. Data at individual staff level is not required.
  • Data is submitted retrospectively biannually; this will be for a certain date (31 March or 30 September). For collections submitted in April the reporting period is 1 October to 31 March immediately prior to that April. For collection submitted in October the reporting period is 1 April to 30 September immediately prior to that October.
  • Depending on the data point being collected the data will either cover the reporting period, or the last day. For example, the submission in April will be data for 31 March for most data points, but cover 1 October to 31 March for joiners and leavers.
  • The data for joiners and leavers would be the total over the full 6 month period that the submission relates to. A headcount that does not change may not reflect the turnover of staff within a practice and so not fully reflect staffing difficulties.
  • Where possible the first collection will require data to be submitted at the start and end of the reporting period. So for 31 March 2023, and 30 September 2023. After the first submission, the data reported at the end of the reporting period will be used as the following reporting periods starting data. The contractor will be responsible for verifying the data at the start of the reporting period, to populating this information if it is missing, or, if there is any change.
  • A free text box is provided for contractors to provide information on issues that may have affected the data submitted during the reporting period.

Data relating the practice

Dental chairs

The contractor will be responsible for verifying the number of dental chairs at the practice, or to populate this information if it is missing, or, if there is any change.

The contractor will also be responsible for estimating the percentage of time that dental chairs in the practice are usually used for NHS services. Where an NHS patient opted for a private treatment during the same appointment visit then this can be included as NHS time. If the patient opted for private treatment and this was undertaken during a separate appointment visit then this would be included as private time.

The data submitted should reflect the number of dental chairs at the practice for the retrospective period the return covers. For example, the number of dental chairs at the practice at end of the reporting period, apart from the first collection where we would like data for 31 March 2023 and 30 September 2023.

Opening hours

The contractor will be responsible for providing the total daily hours the practice is open and the total NHS hours (based on “normal surgery hours” as identified in the contractors GDS contract/PDS agreement) for their first collection. In subsequent collections the contractor will be responsible for verifying the figure, or to populate it if there is any change.

The data submitted should reflect the average opening hours of the practice for each day during the period the return covers. For example, the average total hours each day for the practice at end of the reporting period, apart from the first collection where we would like data for 31 March 2023 and 30 September 2023.

Data relating Staff

Calculating Full-Time Equivalent (FTE)

FTE can be used convert part-time and additional working hours into an equivalent number of full-time staff. For example, a vacant post equating to 37.5 hours would be classed as 1.0 FTE while a vacant post equating to 30 hours would be 0.8 FTE.

The calculation of FTE is an employee’s scheduled hours divided by the employer’s hours for a full-time workweek. When an employer has a 37.5 hour workweek, employees who are scheduled to work 37.5 hours per week are 1.0 FTEs. Employees scheduled to work 18.75 hours per week are 0.5 FTEs.

Total headcount

The contractor will be responsible for confirming the total number of distinct individuals for each staff group. For the purposes of the workforce collection any specialist dentists or dentists with special interests should be recorded under the staff group general dentists.

An option is available to include other staff not included on the return, this should be used to record any other staff, for example practice managers, and Technicians/Clinical Technicians, that the contractor wishes to include to reflect, as accurately as possible, how they utilise staff to operate their NHS services.

The data submitted should reflect the total headcount for each staff group for the period the return covers. For example, the total headcount of each staff group at end of the reporting period, apart from the first collection where we would like data for 31 March 2023 and 30 September 2023.

Total contract hours

The contractor will be responsible for confirming the total hours worked for each staff group during an average week. For example, if there are 5 staff recorded as general dentists this would be the total combined hours they worked in a week.

Example

Staff

Total hours in an average week

Dentist one

37.5

Dentist two

30

Dentist three

22.5

Dentist four

15

Dentist five

7.5

Total to be recorded

112.5

The data submitted should reflect the total contract hours for each staff group during the period the return covers. For example, the total contract hours or hours worked in an average week for each staff at end of the reporting period, apart from the first collection where we would like data for 31 March 2023 and 30 September 2023. If associates or members of staff do not have contracted hours then the contractor should use the average working hours.

Estimated hours delivering NHS services

The contractor will be responsible for estimating the average number of hours that each staff group spends delivering NHS dental services during an average week.

The data submitted should reflect the average hours each staff group spends delivering NHS services for an average week during the period the return covers. For example, the average number of hours each staff group delivers NHS services during an average week at end of the reporting period, apart from the first collection where we would like data for 31 March 2023 and 30 September 2023.

Example

Staff

Total hours in an average week

Estimated NHS hours in an average week

Dentist one

37.5

15

Dentist two

30

15

Dentist three

22.5

15

Dentist four

15

7.5

Dentist five

7.5

7.5

Total to be recorded

112.5

60

Total number of all vacant posts (headcount)

The contractor will be responsible for confirming the total number of all distinct vacant posts for each staff group.

The data submitted should reflect the total number of vacant posts during the period the return covers. For example, the total number of vacant posts at end of the reporting period, apart from the first collection where we would like data for 31 March 2023 and 30 September 2023.

Number of NHS vacant posts

The contractor will be responsible for confirming the total number of vacant NHS posts for each staff group.

The data submitted should reflect the total number of vacant NHS posts for each staff group during the period the return covers. For example, the total number of vacant NHS posts for each staff group at end of the reporting period, apart from the first collection where we would like data for 31 March 2023 and 30 September 2023.

Example:

Staff

Total number of vacant posts

Total number NHS vacant posts

General dentist

1

1

General dentist

1

0

General dentist

1

0

Total to be recorded

3

1

Maximum length of time NHS post has been vacant

The contractor will be responsible for confirming the maximum number of days that an NHS post has been vacant for each staff group.

If there are several vacant posts within the same staffing group this will be the maximum length of time that an NHS post has been vacant within that staffing group.

The data submitted should reflect the maximum length of time that an NHS post has been vacant at the point the return is completed; this may be longer than the 6 month period the return covers.

Total NHS Leavers over previous 6 months (headcount)

The contractor will be responsible for confirming the total number of distinct leavers for each staff group over the previous 6 months.

The data submitted should reflect the total number of NHS leavers over the 6 month period the return covers. For example, when completing the March return this would be the total number of NHS leavers between 1 October and 31 March.

Total NHS hours lost from leavers over previous 6 months

The contractor will be responsible for confirming the total number of hours lost in an average week for each staff group as a result of the leavers over the previous 6 months.

The data submitted should reflect the total number of NHS hours lost in an average week from leavers over the 6 month period the return covers. For example, the total number of NHS hours lost in an average week from leavers between 1 October and 31 March.

Example

Staff

Total number leavers over 6 months

Total NHS hours lost from leavers in an average week

General dentist

1

30

General dentist

1

15

General dentist

1

15

Total to be recorded

3

60

Total NHS Joiners over previous 6 months (headcount)

The contractor will be responsible for confirming the total number of distinct joiners for each staff group over the previous 6 months.

The data submitted should reflect the total number of NHS joiners over the 6 month period the return covers. For example, the total number of NHS joiners between 1 October 2022 and 31 March.

Total NHS hours gained from joiners over previous 6 months

The contractor will be responsible for confirming the total number of hours gained in an average week for each staff group as a result of the joiners over the previous 6 months.

The data submitted should reflect the total number of NHS hours gained from joiners in an average week over the 6 month period the return covers. For example, the total number of NHS hours gained in an average week from joiners between 1 October and 31 March.

Example

Staff

Total number joiners over 6 months

Total NHS hours gained from joiners in an average week

General dentist

1

30

General dentist

1

15

General dentist

1

15

Total to be recorded

3

60

Appendix – example of workforce collection

An example of the biannual workforce collection is available on the NHSBSA website.

Publication reference: PRN00759