1. Main facts and figures

  • as at March 2018, there were over 1.2 million staff employed by the NHS
  • overall, of staff whose ethnicity was known, 4 out of 5 NHS staff (80.2%) were White, including White ethnic minorities, (nearly 932,000 staff) and nearly 1 in 5 (19.8%) were from all other ethnic groups (over 230,000 staff)
  • staff from the Asian, Chinese, Mixed and Other ethnic groups made up a higher percentage of those in medical roles (working as doctors in hospitals and community health services) than those in non-medical roles
  • among the non-medical workforce, staff from the Asian, Black, Mixed and Other ethnic groups made up a lower percentage of those at senior grades (bands 8a to 9) and the ‘very senior manager’ grade than at the support (bands 1 to 4) and middle roles (bands 5 to 7)
  • there was a higher percentage of staff from the Black, Chinese, Mixed and Other ethnic groups among junior doctors than among senior doctors
  • compared with September 2017, the percentage of staff who were White decreased slightly (from 80.7% to 80.2%) and who were from all other ethnic groups increased slightly (from 19.3% to 19.8%)
Things you need to know

This data includes staff directly employed by the NHS in around 230 trusts and over 200 clinical commissioning groups.

The data doesn’t include:

  • staff working in primary care, like dentists in dental practices and GPs
  • staff working in NHS support organisations and central bodies like commissioning support units and NHS Digital
  • agency staff and contractors

The data is based on a headcount of NHS staff. Some staff could be working part time rather than full time.

As some staff may work in more than one position, the headcounts in these tables will not add up to the overall headcount of the workforce.

Ethnicity isn’t known for 4% of NHS staff. The percentages and total headcounts given here are based only on staff whose ethnicity is known, and may therefore differ from the calculations included in the source publication.

What the data measures

This data measures the number and percentage of NHS staff working in NHS trusts and clinical commissioning groups in England, broken down by ethnicity, pay grade and type of role (medical or non-medical).

The latest figures (for March 2018) are shown in all charts and tables. Figures for September 2017 are shown in the first 2 tables. Download the data to see all figures for both periods.

‘Medical’ staff are doctors working for hospitals and community health services, grouped into 3 tiers:

  • senior doctors – consultants, associate specialists and speciality doctors
  • junior doctors – specialty registrars, doctors in core training, and foundation doctors years 1 and 2
  • other doctors – hospital practitioners and clinical assistants, and doctors whose grade couldn’t be classified

‘Non-medical’ staff include:

  • clinical staff – nurses and health visitors, ambulance staff, midwives, and scientific, therapeutic and technical staff
  • staff working in managerial, administrative and support roles

Most non-medical roles are on a payscale with bands from 1 to 9 (with band 9 being the most senior). These bands have been grouped as follows:

  • support roles (bands 1 to 4) including administrative assistants, receptionists, healthcare support workers and healthcare assistants – these tend to be non-graduate entry roles
  • middle-level roles (bands 5 to 7) including registered healthcare professionals (like nurses), project managers, and other administrative and clerical staff
  • senior roles (bands 8a to 9) including advanced nurse practitioners, specialist administrative staff, managers, senior managers and heads of services or directorates

There are also:

  • staff on the ‘very senior manager’ grade (who are usually graduates)
  • other grades including apprentices, and staff not on the main grade structure (who could be in junior or senior roles)
The ethnic categories used in this data

The data was collected using the standardised ethnic categories based on the 2001 Census. It is grouped into the following broad categories to reduce the risk of accidental disclosure:

  • Asian/Asian British
  • Black/Black British
  • Chinese
  • Mixed/Multiple ethnicities
  • White
  • Other

2. By ethnicity

Number and percentage of NHS staff by ethnicity over time
September 2017 March 2018
Ethnicity % Headcount % Headcount
Asian 9.3 107,531 9.6 111,465
Black 5.7 65,956 5.9 68,251
Chinese 0.5 6,303 0.6 6,412
Mixed 1.6 18,614 1.7 19,363
White 80.7 928,146 80.2 931,704
Other 2.1 23,746 2.1 24,698
Unknown N/A* 53,251 N/A* 53,780

Download table data (CSV) Source data (CSV)

Summary

This data shows that:

  • as at March 2018, there were over 1.2 million people employed by NHS trusts and clinical commissioning groups in England
  • overall, of staff whose ethnicity was known, White staff made up 80.2% of the NHS workforce, followed by Asian staff (9.6%), Black staff (5.9%), staff from the Other ethnic group (2.1%), staff with Mixed ethnicity (1.7%) and staff from the Chinese ethnic group (0.6%)
  • in March 2018, the number of NHS staff was higher in every ethnic group compared with September 2017
  • compared with September 2017, the percentage of staff from the Asian, Black, Chinese and Mixed ethnic groups increased slightly (by between 0.1 and 0.3 percentage points), and decreased slightly (by 0.5 percentage points) for the White ethnic group; it was unchanged for the Other ethnic group

3. By ethnicity and type of role

Number and percentage of NHS staff by ethnicity and type of role over time
Medical (Sep 2017) Non-medical (Sep 2017) Medical (Mar 2018) Non-medical (Mar 2018)
Ethnicity % Headcount % Headcount % Headcount % Headcount
Asian 28.5 30,398 7.4 77,133 28.9 31,030 7.6 80,435
Black 4.0 4,256 5.9 61,700 4.2 4,529 6.0 63,722
Chinese 2.5 2,684 0.3 3,619 2.5 2,726 0.3 3,686
Mixed 3.1 3,271 1.5 15,343 3.1 3,368 1.5 15,995
White 57.9 61,809 83.0 866,337 57.1 61,360 82.5 870,344
Other 4.0 4,259 1.9 19,487 4.1 4,397 1.9 20,301
Unknown N/A* 9,750 N/A* 43,501 N/A* 9,528 N/A* 44,252

Download table data (CSV) Source data (CSV)

Summary

This data shows that:

  • as at March 2018, around 9 out of 10 people employed by NHS trusts and clinical commissioning groups in England were working in non-medical roles, while around 1 in 10 were in medical roles
  • White staff made up a higher percentage of the non-medical workforce (at 82.5%) than they did of the medical workforce (at 57.1%); Black staff also made up a higher percentage of the non-medical workforce (6.0%) than of the medical workforce (4.2%)
  • Asian staff made up a higher percentage of the medical workforce (at 28.9%) than they did of the non-medical workforce (at 7.6%)
  • staff from the Chinese, Mixed, and Other ethnic groups also made up a higher percentage of medical staff than of non-medical staff
  • compared with September 2017, the percentage of medical staff who were from the Asian, Black and Other ethnic groups increased slightly in March 2018 (by between 0.1 and 0.4 percentage points), and decreased slightly (by 0.8 percentage points) for the White ethnic group; it was unchanged for the Chinese and Mixed ethnic groups
  • compared with September 2017, the percentage of non-medical staff who were from the Asian and Black ethnic groups increased slightly in March 2018 (by 0.2 and 0.1 percentage points respectively), and decreased slightly (by 0.5 percentage points) for the White ethnic group; it was unchanged for the Chinese, Mixed and Other ethnic groups

4. By ethnicity and broad grade (non-medical staff)

Number and percentage of NHS non-medical staff by ethnicity and broad grade
Asian Black Chinese Mixed White Other
Broad grade % Headcount % Headcount % Headcount % Headcount % Headcount % Headcount
All 7.6 80,435 6.0 63,722 0.3 3,686 1.5 15,995 82.5 870,344 1.9 20,301
Very Senior Manager 4.2 80 1.0 19 0.2 4 0.7 13 93.6 1,783 0.3 6
Senior (Bands 8a-9) 5.7 3,896 3.3 2,247 0.6 404 1.3 876 88.2 60,108 0.9 601
Middle (Bands 5-7) 8.4 44,059 6.5 33,984 0.4 2,343 1.5 7,925 80.9 425,997 2.4 12,448
Support (Bands 1-4) 7.1 31,258 6.0 26,667 0.2 894 1.6 6,926 83.6 370,380 1.6 7,057
Other grade 7.9 1,142 5.5 805 0.3 41 1.8 255 83.2 12,076 1.3 189

Download table data (CSV) Source data (CSV)

Summary

This data shows that:

  • overall, staff from the Asian, Black, Chinese, Mixed and Other ethnic groups combined made up 17.5% of the non-medical workforce, where ethnicity was known
  • in comparison, staff from the same ethnic groups made up 6.4% of people in the ‘very senior manager’ grade, and 11.8% of those in senior grades (bands 8a to 9)
  • there were lower percentages of staff from the Asian, Black, Mixed and Other ethnic groups at senior (bands 8a to 9) and ‘very senior manager’ grades than at the support (bands 1 to 4) and middle grades (bands 5 to 7)

5. By ethnicity and specific grade (non-medical staff)

Number and percentage of NHS non-medical staff by ethnicity and specific grade
Asian Black Chinese Mixed White Other Ethnic minority (exc. White minorities)
Grade % Headcount % Headcount % Headcount % Headcount % Headcount % Headcount % Headcount
Graduate entry grades
Very Senior Manager 4.2 80 1.0 19 0.2 4 0.7 13 93.6 1,783 0.3 6 6.4 122
Band 9 3.4 49 1.7 25 0.2 3 1.4 20 92.7 1,331 0.6 8 7.3 105
Band 8d 3.6 133 2.2 82 0.4 15 1.0 39 92.4 3,449 0.4 14 7.6 283
Band 8c 4.2 333 2.4 186 0.4 32 1.2 92 91.2 7,159 0.6 50 8.8 693
Band 8b 5.2 802 3.1 485 0.6 97 1.2 179 89.1 13,744 0.8 118 10.9 1,681
Band 8a 6.5 2,579 3.7 1,469 0.6 257 1.4 546 86.7 34,425 1.0 411 13.3 5,262
Band 7 6.1 6,954 4.7 5,343 0.6 639 1.3 1,490 85.9 98,163 1.4 1,656 14.1 16,082
Band 6 7.0 14,142 5.9 11,967 0.4 887 1.4 2,894 83.1 167,277 2.0 4,009 16.9 33,899
Band 5 10.9 22,963 7.9 16,674 0.4 817 1.7 3,541 76.0 160,557 3.2 6,783 24.0 50,778
Non-graduate entry grades
Band 4 6.1 5,637 4.9 4,542 0.3 247 1.6 1,436 86.1 79,340 1.0 966 13.9 12,828
Band 3 6.2 8,762 6.2 8,757 0.2 269 1.5 2,148 84.6 119,682 1.3 1,882 15.4 21,818
Band 2 7.8 13,732 6.3 11,002 0.2 312 1.6 2,799 82.2 144,646 2.0 3,485 17.8 31,330
Band 1 9.3 3,127 7.1 2,366 0.2 66 1.6 543 79.6 26,712 2.2 724 20.4 6,826
Unspecified
Other grades 7.9 1,142 5.5 805 0.3 41 1.8 255 83.2 12,076 1.3 189 16.8 2,432

Download table data (CSV) Source data (CSV)

Summary

This data shows that:

  • as at March 2018, the percentage of NHS non-medical staff that was White increased as grades became more senior – this was found in both non-graduate entry grades (bands 1 to 4) and graduate entry grades (band 5 to very senior manager)
  • in the graduate entry grades (band 5 to very senior manager), staff from the Asian, Black, Mixed and Other ethnic groups made up a smaller percentage of senior roles than junior roles – for example, Black staff made up 7.9% of the workforce in band 5, compared with 1.0% of those in ‘very senior manager’ roles
  • similarly, among the non-graduate entry grades (bands 1 to 4), staff from the Asian, Black, and Other ethnic groups made up a smaller proportion of senior roles than junior roles – for example, Asian staff made up 6.1% of the workforce in band 4 (the most senior non-graduate entry band), compared with 9.3% in band 1 (the most junior)

6. By ethnicity and grade (medical staff)

Number and percentage of NHS medical staff by ethnicity and specific grade
Asian Black Chinese Mixed White Other
Grade % Headcount % Headcount % Headcount % Headcount % Headcount % Headcount
Senior doctors (Career grade)
Consultant (including Directors of Public Health) 28.1 13,108 2.9 1,346 2.0 923 2.2 1,028 61.4 28,655 3.4 1,573
Associate Specialist 41.1 874 5.1 108 0.8 16 3.2 69 40.8 869 9.0 192
Specialty Doctor 44.1 3,177 5.4 388 0.9 63 3.1 224 39.3 2,830 7.3 527
Staff Grade 35.4 127 8.1 29 3.3 12 4.2 15 42.9 154 6.1 22
Junior doctors (Training and equivalent)
Specialty Registrar 28.8 7,992 5.7 1,567 3.4 954 3.9 1,088 53.7 14,865 4.5 1,241
Core Training 28.0 2,616 6.1 568 3.4 321 4.3 403 53.7 5,019 4.5 418
Foundation Doctor Year 2 24.6 1,420 4.5 257 3.1 179 4.1 239 60.1 3,465 3.6 205
Foundation Doctor Year 1 21.2 1,174 3.9 213 4.2 231 4.4 244 63.4 3,505 3.0 164
Other doctors
Hospital Practitioner / Clinical Assistant 17.6 269 1.6 25 0.5 8 1.5 23 77.1 1,181 1.7 26
Other and Local Hospital and Community Health Services Doctor Grades 22.7 273 2.3 28 1.6 19 2.9 35 68.0 817 2.4 29

Download table data (CSV) Source data (CSV)

Summary

This data shows that:

  • among medical staff, senior doctors were more likely to be White or Asian (at 57.7% and 30.7% respectively) than were junior doctors (at 55.5% and 27.3% respectively)
  • a higher percentage of junior doctors were from the Black, Chinese, Mixed or Other ethnic groups compared with senior doctors
  • White doctors made up a higher percentage of consultants (the highest senior grade), at 61.4%, than they did the other senior grades
  • doctors from the Black, Chinese and Mixed ethnic groups made up a higher percentage of doctors at staff grade (the most junior of the senior grades) than they did at the other senior grades
  • Asian doctors and those from the Other ethnic group made up a higher percentage of doctors at specialty registrar grade (the most senior of the junior grades) than at any other of the junior grades
  • over three-quarters (77.1%) of hospital practitioner or clinical assistant roles were filled by White employees – the highest percentage of White staff in any specific medical grade

7. Methodology

Data provided here is based on administrative data collected from NHS trusts and clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) for March 2018.

The majority of trusts and CCGs use the Electronic Staff Record (ESR), the NHS’s main human resources and payroll system. Since 2008, the system has contained staff records for over 99% of staff employed directly by the NHS in England.

NHS foundation trusts are not required to use the ESR. Two of these do not, and instead submit their ethnicity data every 3 months directly to NHS Digital through the workforce Minimum Data Set collection.

NHS staff report their own ethnicity.

Rounding

Percentages are rounded to 1 decimal place.

Quality and methodology information

8. Data sources

Source

Type of data

Administrative data

Type of statistic

Official statistics

Publisher

NHS Digital

Publication frequency

Twice a year

Purpose of data source

The data is extracted from NHS human resource and payroll systems. The purpose of collecting ethnicity data through these systems is to monitor equality and diversity across the NHS workforce.

9. Download the data

NHS workforce - Spreadsheet (csv) 30 KB

This file contains the following: ethnicity, time, type of role, entry level, broad grade, specific grade, headcount (numerator), denominator, value

NHS workforce using ONS 2011 ethnic categories - Spreadsheet (csv) 26 KB

The Asian ethnic group in this file includes those who are Chinese to enable comparison with other datasets that use the ONS 2011 5+1 classification (note this is different to the ethnic categorisation used in the figures shown in the charts, tables and commentary on this page). This file contains the following: ethnicity, time, type of role, entry level, broad grade, specific grade, headcount (numerator), denominator, value