A total of 20,986 full-time equivalent (FTE) managers worked in the NHS at 31 September 2016, up 696 (3.4%) compared with the same point in 2015, according to official data from NHS Digital. In headcount terms, the number of NHS managers rose 753 to 21,972, an increase of 3.5%.
The number of FTE senior NHS managers also rose 3.7% to 9,606. Managers make up 1.96% of the overall FTE NHS workforce.
Over the same period, the headcount number of GPs in England fell by 12, while the FTE GP workforce dropped by almost 100 to 34,495.
Meanwhile, data published on Wednesday reveal that over the three-month period covering October to December 2016, the FTE GP workforce fell even faster - dropping 445, or 1.3%.
GP leaders have warned that the data show the workforce crisis facing general practice is deepening.
However, the data suggest that efforts to widen the GP workforce - one of the high-impact actions to tackle pressure on general practice defined in the GP Forward View - could be beginning to take effect.
The number of FTE practice nurses in general practice rose 429 to 15,827 in the year to September 2016 - a 2.8% increase.
Overall FTE numbers of staff involved in direct patient care also rose sharply, up 9.4% over this period from 9,148 to 10,009.
RCGP chair Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard said: 'We are encouraged to see a significant increase in the practice nurse workforce, and over 850 more other primary care professionals enter our workforce over the last year.'