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Workforce Minimum Dataset and Recording of Locums

Date sent: Wednesday 22 March 2017

All Somerset Practice Managers

Dear Colleagues

It appears that not all of you have received the correspondence from NHS Digital regarding this, after discussion with the BMA they have accepted that recording all Locum activity is too burdensome for practices and have sent the following statement, therefore please only record as you have done in previous submissions.

Minimum Data Set (wMDS)

Thank you for your continued support and for ensuring your practice data remains up to date, to allow us to extract your data via the Primary Care Web Tool (PCWT). To clarify, the wMDS collection has always aimed to collect data on all staff providing services at the practice including their start and finish dates, irrespective of their working pattern.

Clarification on the recording of locums

Thank you to all who provided feedback regarding locum recording following the communication of the 27 Feb 2017. NHS Digital and the BMA GPs committee has since had a productive conversation on the way forward.

We acknowledge that the current system is not practical to record all the different types of locums that work at a practice. Joint work is ongoing with BMA and other colleagues on how best to capture and record locum work at your practice in the least burdensome way.

In the meantime, and until the end of March extraction, we please ask that you continue to record locums as your have previously. This will ensure any locums working in your practice on 31 March are recorded.

When a simplified mechanism for the effective capture of locum data has been developed, guidance materials will be issued.

Data quality

It is recommended to make changes/amendments to other members of your workforce on an ongoing basis as they occur.

Following the extraction, we will review the data and you may receive an email if we need to query your data.

Extractions timetable

The next extraction is scheduled at midnight 31 March 2017. You no longer need to submit your data. Instead, NHS Digital or your Health Education England (HEE) region will extract your data automatically. We will always advise you of the extraction date in advance. The following diagram shows the dates associated with the next four extractions.

If you input your workforce data via an HEE collection tool, you will still need to log into the PCWT to indicate you are submitting your data via alternative means. You can do this by clicking the 'Data Preferences' tab and then selecting the appropriate tick boxes.

Further information

The information taken from the PCWT on 31 December 2016 will be published by NHS Digital on 29 March 2017.

More support for the PCWT is available on the NHS Digital website


* Changes to the PCWT

* PCWT user guidance and frequently asked questions (FAQs)

* Fair processing notice

Thank you for your time, it is appreciated.

Yours sincerely,

Workforce and Facilities

NHS Digital


Kind Regards


Jill Hellens

Executive Director

Somerset LMC

TEL: 01823 331428

Fax:01823 338561

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