Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the GM Primary Care Workforce Data Programme to support improved workforce planning, development and retention.

Can you provide me with more information about the programme?

The Better Together programme will be focussing on the workforce data for all wider primary care. Whilst we currently have this for general practice we don’t have it for Pharmacy, dental and optometry services but are aware that workforce challenges are affecting all of primary care.

By collating this data we will be informed of where the challenges are which will then identify collaborative strategies to address these which could include recruitment and retention strategies, leadership programmes etc.

The data collection will commence Monday 18th July via an email link which you should be in receipt of on Monday. It’s a simple form that we anticipate shouldn’t take long to complete. Evaluation from a pilot have been very positive with comments stating that its ‘easy to complete’ and ‘very quick to do’.

Here is a link to the webpage which will give you an overview of why and what we are hoping to achieve

Will this be mandatory?

No – We do have a contract with wider primary care providers like we do with GP surgeries, however this is a supportive solution based data set so we hope providers will engage as we already have a few on board.

Is this a local initiative or is it likely to become a national requirement?

This is a local initiative, however other areas of England are mapping to do this or have tried to do this around their provider data. These programmes are still ongoing at this point.

Can we see what the electronic form will look like?
Can we send a grouped return as we have a number of practices within our area?

Yes, for larger organisations, we can provide a spreadsheet that ‘mirrors’ the electronic form and allows you to input all the information line by line on single sheet

Where will you get the contact details for each provider from?

We are working with our Primary Care Commissioning team and NHS Greater Manchester Business Intelligence team so we have all the contact details from the commissioners and the ‘COVID Sitrep’ report that was produced for providers during the pandemic. We are currently cross referencing these to make sure it is the most current and up to date version.

Will you pull the General Practice data from the National Workforce Reporting Service?


We will be continuing with stakeholders and workforce personnel to promote the usage and submission of the National Workforce Reporting Service (NWRS) system/data, as this already holds the data within it.

The electronic form is for dentistry, pharmacy and optometry providers as we do not have an existing data collection tool for these providers.

Do we include locums when asking answering the question on ‘how many staff’?

If you have locums instead of employed staff and no vacancies, then include them as they are staff in all but employment terms. The ‘locum’ question will be addressed with the project team before the next submission in August22 as it has been frequently asked.

When asking for contracted hours do you want us to include regular locum shifts?

We would like you to capture all the regular hours the locum works if you submit you have no vacancies. The figure to enter would be employed pharmacist contracted hours + regular locum hours.

The ‘locum’ question will be addressed with the project team before the next submission in August22 as it has been frequently

Do we include trainees in the data collection?

The ‘trainee’ question will be addressed with the project team before the next submission in August22 as it has been frequently asked.

Is this compliant with Information Governance requirements?

Yes the process of the data submission and the use of the data has been through the necessary governance process and meets the required standards. All data received is non identifiable.

How will this data be displayed and accessed?

The data will be produced by the Virtual Workforce Information System (VWIS).

We intend to give providers access to the dashboards over the next coming months.