Complete our virology workforce survey

We are asking UK Clinical Leads and Heads of Departments for Virology to contribute to a workforce data collection.

The College is committed to supporting the planning of efficient, high quality pathology services. By completing our survey, you are helping us to build a comprehensive picture of the UK workforce in virology, and gain a realistic idea of the number of vacant posts in the UK in this specialty. By ‘vacant post’ we mean a post that is funded but not yet filled, either because it has not yet been advertised or there were no applicants/suitable applicants when advertised. However, there are also potential posts – posts that could be readily funded and created if a suitable candidate became available, which we also wish to capture.

Data collection deadline

Please note that the closing date for responses is FRIDAY 20 DECEMBER

How will the data be used?

We will use the data provided as aggregated statistics in a report to influence workforce planners on your behalf.  All data will be anonymised and neither organisations nor individuals will be identified in the subsequent report.

We appreciate that some of the data we are requesting may be regarded as sensitive. Please be assured that the information you provide will be kept totally confidential, and will not be shared with third parties. 

What information do I need to know?


As part of the survey, you'll be asked to enter some simple personal information – like your name and email address. You'll also be asked to supply the following detailed information about your service's workforce, which will need to be prepared in advance. We appreciate that it may take some time to collate this data, and thank you in advance for your support. 

Key:    * indicates mandatory question

Contact details of person completing the survey

*    Name

*    Position

*    Email address

*    Country 

  • England
  • Wales
  • Scotland
  • Northern Ireland

*    UK Regions, Public Health,Wales Health Boards, Northern Ireland Health & Social Care Trusts and NHS Scotland (drop down options)

*    Name of employing body (free text)

Which description best fits your employing body e.g. DGH, Teaching, Public Health Lab, etc. (drop down options)

Do you also provide a service to hospital sites at another employing body? Yes/No

If yes, is this a comprehensive Virology service or provision of a specialist service?

Are you in a clinical laboratory network? Yes/No

If yes, which network are you in? (free text)

What is the total population covered by GP practices that send specimens to your laboratory?  (approximate number is good enough) (Whole numbers only)

What is the total number of hospital beds served by your laboratory service? For example, if your laboratory provides a service to more than one hospital, what is the total number of beds in all of those hospitals? (approximate number is good enough) (Whole numbers only)

About the department

Workload data for last full 12 months

Total number of specimens received and processed in your lab (approximate number is good enough):

Test name        Number of requests in year 

  • Molecular
  • Serology
  • Electron Microscopy
  • Viral culture

Has your workload increased in the last 12 months? (Yes/No)

If yes, what local solutions have you found to deal with the increasing workload? (Free text)

Data on clinical practice activities and lab management duties:

Clinical practice activity/lab management duty             Total PAs across all consultants in department

  • Laboratory management activity
  • Lab-based clinical support
  • Ward rounds of non-infection specialties
  • Infectious Diseases ward responsibilities
  • Out-patient clinics
  • Infection control activity
  • Antimicrobial stewardship
  • OPAT
  • Junior doctor training
  • Medical student teaching
  • Research activities
  • Non-microbiology management activity

Medical and Scientific Staffing

  • What is the number of medically qualified consultants in WTE in your department?
  • How many are in substantive posts?
  • How many are locum long term appointments?
  • How many are likely to retire or go part time in next 5 years?
  • How many are likely to retire and return to work?
  • What is the number of clinical scientist consultants in WTE?
  • How many are likely to retire or go part time in next 5 years?
  • How many are likely to retire and return to work?

How many trainee Virologists/ Vir & IDs? 

  • Medical Specialty Registrars
  • Core Infection Trainees
  • Higher Specialty Trainees
  • Clinical Scientist Band 7
  • Clinical Scientist Band 8a
  • Clinical Scientist Band 8b

For Foundation Year 1 and 2 posts please give placements and duration.

Staffing

Please provide details relating to each Consultant Virologist, and then each Consultant Clinical Scientist currently employed in the Department/Laboratory.

Medical Consultant's details:

  • Specialty (drop down options) – MV/ MV&ID 
  • Number of PAs for DCC (drop down options)
  • Number of SPAs (drop down options)
  • Total number of PAs in contract? (drop down options)
  • Gender
  • Age range (ranges given e.g. under 35, 35 to 39, 40 to 45,...)
  • Retired and returned to work? (drop down options)
  • Likely to retire in how many years? (drop down options)

How is consultant time funded? (drop down options)

Is there identified funding for specific, non-laboratory microbiology work e.g. ward rounds, infection prevention, AMS, OPAT, clinics (e.g. HIV/Hep C/BT)? (Yes/No)

Consultant clinical scientists’ details:

  • Banding (drop down options)
  • Total number of hours in contract? (drop down options)
  • Gender
  • Age range (ranges given e.g. under 35, 35 to 39, 40 to 45,...)
  • Retired and returned to work? (drop down options)
  • Likely to retire in how many years?

On-call commitments across all consultants in department/lab

Medical consultants:

  • Total number of PAs for on-call commitments?
  • How many of these include on-site working e.g. weekends?
  • How many of these are off-site working?
  • Are on-call commitments paid with PAs or time off in lieu (TOIL)?
  • Are overtime payments paid as A or B?

Clinical Scientists:

  • Total number of sessions for on-call activity?
  • Are these worked independently or are they covered by a medically qualified consultant?
  • How many of these include on-site working e.g. weekends?
  • How many of these are off-site working?

If you currently have any vacant substantive consultant posts, how many? N.B. All vacant posts whether or not they are covered by locums should be included and a response is required for each row in this table.

Post/s vacant and allowed to recruit / Post/s vacant & not allowed to recruit e.g. due to financial pressures   

  • Medical
  • Clinical Scientist

Is the current consultant (medical and scientific) establishment sufficient to meet clinical and laboratory demand? (Yes/No)

If no, what would be the size of a sufficient establishment?  (Free text)

How have increases in consultant workload over the last five years, e.g. clinical queries, ward rounds, clinics, OPAT, antimicrobial stewardship, infection prevention, surgical site infection surveillance been managed?  (Free text)

Have these new demands been funded)? (Yes/No)

Do you have any non-consultant career grade staff e.g. SAS Doctors (Specialty Doctors, Associate Specialists and formerly, Staff Grade), in Virology? (Yes/No)

If yes, how many?

How many sessions do they work on average?

If you have any vacant substantive SAS Doctor posts, please include the number of vacancies. 

Predicted requirements for additional posts over the next two years at following grades:   

  • Medical Consultant 
  • Consultant Clinical Scientist (Bands 9, 8c & 8d)
  • Medical Trainee 
  • Trainee Clinical Scientist (Bands 7, 8a & 8b)

Number of new or replacement posts advertised in the last three months or to be advertised in the next three months:

  • Medical Consultant  
  • Consultant Clinical Scientist

How many people applied to your last consultant advertisement?

Impact of the pension cap on your department/laboratory:

  • Reduced hours
  • Dropped management sessions
  • Early retirements

*  Do you have any vacant post covered by locums in your department/laboratory?  If yes, it will take you to questions relating to these staff.  If no, it will skip this section.

Locums       

Please provide details relating to vacant posts covered by Locums currently employed in the department/laboratory

Number of Locums - NHS Locums or Agency Locums - in the following grades:

  • Medical Consultant
  • Consultant Clinical Scientist
  • Clinical Scientist
  • Medical Trainee
  • Trainee Clinical Scientist 
  • LAS
  • Other grade

What are the reasons for your current Locums i.e. covering sick leave, covering maternity, uncertainty about funding, etc.

In confidence, how much have you spent on doctor and clinical scientist Locums in the last year and the last month? (approximate amount is good enough)

Free text       

This is an opportunity to provide comments and/or additional information on any of the preceding questions. Please note that we are unable to reply to every comment.  However, your views are very important to us and we will endeavour to cover all the relevant issues in our report. 

Complete our virology workforce survey

Please submit your response to our survey by 20 December 2019. If you have any questions about completing the survey, email us on workforce@rcpath.org.