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Workforce Report 2021

Updated on: 15 Mar 2022   First published on 15 Mar 2022

Author:  Dr Charlotte Rutter 

This document was written in retrospect for October 2021, and published in February 2022.


Key points

  • On 30th September 2020 there were 1700 substantive consultant gastroenterologists and hepatologists in the UK, a 5.8% expansion from 2019
  • 22% of consultants were female and 14% of all consultants worked flexibly
  • The consultant workforce has expanded by 54% over the last ten years; mean yearly expansion is between 4.5% and 5%
  • Mean intended retirement age was reported as 61.5 years with 51% of consultants reaching this age over the next decade; on average, there will be 87 retirements per year
  • Mean WTE PAs contracted per week were 11.46 and flexible PAs 7.16; consultants reported working an additional 1.PA a week
  • 48% of advertised consultant gastroenterology and hepatology posts in 2020 were unfilled indicating expansion was less than it could be
  • With the current shortfall in workforce, predicted retirements and population growth, we 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 721 gastroenterology and hepatology Higher Specialty Trainees in the UK
  • HST Recruitment in 2021 was 98% to NTNs and 88% to LATs
  • It would be appropriate to double the number of ST4 NTNs recruited each year to address the consultant deficit and need for greater expansion

The next phase of our focus on workload is our Workload Census – click here to register and for all information.


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