Spending on NHS administration doubles

Spending on NHS administration has more than doubled over the last five years, according to figures from the Conservatives.

Photograph: Julian Dodd
Photograph: Julian Dodd

They show that £6.2bn was spent on the DoH, strategic health authorities and quangos in 2002/3 (£123 per head) rising to £12.6bn in 2007/8 (£250 per head).

This compared with £4.1bn spent on general practice in 2002/3 (£81 per head) rising to £7bn in 2007/8 (£139 per head).

Mike Penning, Conservative shadow health minister, said: ‘These figures show that the NHS has turned into a bureaucratic black hole under Labour. It appears that the further staff are away from the patient, the more costs rise. We need more clinicians and nurses to improve outcomes, not more administrators.’

A DoH spokesman said: ‘There are more doctors, nurses and consultants working for the NHS than at any time since 1997.

‘The 2008 NHS Workforce Census published last month shows a significant increase in the major clinical groups including 8,563 more qualified nurses, 3,117 more matrons, 1,358 more GPs, 1,249 more consultants, 2,395 more doctors in training and 968 more physios than 2007.

‘There are over six medical and clinical staff delivering services to patients for every one administrative and clerical staff. Administrative and clerical staff form only 8% of the NHS workforce of over 1.3m and are essential to the day to day running of the organisation.’

neil.durham@haymarket.com

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