Skip to main content Help with accessibility Skip to main navigation

Greater Manchester General Practice Data

Currently in development across the pilot sites of Manchester and Bolton, the Virtual Workforce Information System (VWIS) is a Tableau-based tool which displays workforce metrics from across the emerging Local Care Organisations as interactive visualisations.

VWIS is aimed at providing decision makers, planners and senior stakeholders with the ability to understand the shape and composition of the LCO workforce consisting of staff from health, social care and general practice.


The GM Approach

Whilst there are tools and systems aiming to support general practice workforce planning being utilised across other areas of the country, the GM approach is currently to utilise the publicly available data, generated by NHSD and published quarterly, as the source of GP workforce information.

NWRS data is uploaded to Tableau by the VWIS information analyst and the resulting visualisations (‘views’) display aggregated data for a specific selection of metrics.


Visualisations & Uses

The NWRS data has been used to produce 4 VWIS views; workforce baseline at a snapshot date, workforce baseline trends, FTE by age/ gender/ country of qualification, and retirement forecasts. See below for screenshots of these views and the intelligence provided by each of these. The views below demonstrate data by GM locality and it is also possible to view the system as a whole.


VWIS Views

Workforce Baseline

This allows the viewer to see the FTE of each staff groups or job roles at any particular reporting month. The view also displays the number of patients per FTE for each job role or staff group selected.

Workforce Baseline (trends)

This visualisation uses datasets from September 2016 to March 2019 to display the baseline number of FTE staff members across different localities and job roles. In the screenshot below, we have filtered to show all staff working in general practice across all Greater Manchester localities, however it is possible to filter by just locality and particular job roles (e.g. changes to the number of practice nurses in Bury over the past 2.5 years)

Workforce Demographics

This visualisation demonstrates the general practice workforce of the ICS broken down by gender/ age band/ country of qualification. This can be filtered down to job role to give a more granular picture of the composition of the workforce.

Retirement Forecast

This visualisation primarily uses age metrics to give a forecast of the numbers of FTE that will fall within a possible retirement age in a given time period. This can be filtered by staff group (GP/ nurse/ direct patient care/ admin) or job role. In the example screenshot below, we are seeing that across the GM ICS, there are 46 nurses that will reach the age of 65 within the next 5 years. This allows strategists and planners to consider future gaps in the workforce due to retirement only (planners will also need to consider population change and growth).

Whilst not an exact ‘scenario’ planning tool, this visualisation has allowed the primary care team to establish some priority areas.



The tool is limited by the fact that outputs are only as accurate as the data which is inputted into the NWRS tool. There may be information missing (particularly where roles work across multiple practices), however, it does provide a solid foundation with which to begin looking at areas in need or urgent intervention or deep dives.