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Workforce Report 2020

Updated on: 27 May 2021   First published on 27 May 2021

Author:  Dr Charlotte Rutter 

This document was written in retrospect for October 2020, and published in May 2021.

The BSG Workforce Report collates data from the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) Census of consultant physicians and higher specialty trainees 2019, the British Society of Gastroenterology Clinical Services and Standards Committee (BSG CSSC) & Workforce Census 2020 and the Medical Register of the General Medical Council (GMC). The data reported reflects the Workforce prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Key points

  • On 30th September 2019 there were 1607 substantive consultant gastroenterologists and hepatologists in the UK, a 2.4% expansion from 2018
  • 22% of consultants were female and 14% of all consultants worked flexibly
  • The consultant workforce has expanded by 57% over the last ten years; mean yearly expansion is between 4.5% and 5%
  • Mean intended retirement age was reported as 61.9 years with 43% of consultants reaching this age over the next decade; on average, there will be 66 retirements per year
  • Mean WTE PAs contracted per week were 11.55 and flexible PAs 7.03; average consultants reported working an additional 1PA a week
  • 45% of advertised consultant gastroenterology and hepatology posts in 2019 were unfilled indicating expansion was less than it could be
  • With the current shortfall in workforce, predicted retirements and population growth, we will need between 7 – 9% yearly expansion
  • Gastroenterology is the major physician specialty at highest risk of burnout with lower (worse) mean mental wellbeing scores
  • On 30th September 2019 there were 728 gastroenterology and hepatology Higher Specialty Trainees in the UK
  • Recruitment in 2020 to ST3 was 100%
  • It would be appropriate to double the number of ST3 NTNs recruited each year to address the deficit and need for greater expansion


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