Number of NHS managers doubles in a decade, figures show

The number of NHS managers has nearly doubled since over the last decade, the NHS's most recent workforce figures show.

 Andrew Lansley said NHS funds are being swallowed up by the number of management
Andrew Lansley said NHS funds are being swallowed up by the number of management

The number of managers and senior managers in England hit 44,660 in 2009, an increase of 84% since 1999, when there was 24,290.

NHS Information Centre figures show the number of GP partners rose slightly in 2009 after a period of slight decline between 2006 and 2008. There are now 40,269 partners in England compared with 37,720 in 2008.

Meanwhile the number of ‘other GPs' (including salaried GPs and locums) increased by nearly 10% between 2008 and 2009 The number of ‘other' GPs has risen from 786 in 1999 to 7,310 in 2009.

The number of practice nurses has fallen very slightly since 2008, down 0.5% to 21,935, continuing a slow downward trend since 2006.

Despite a rise in the number of GPs, the number of GP practices has declined still further during 2009, indicating that practices are now larger.  

Shadow Conservative health secretary Andrew Lansley said the number of NHS managers had increased more than five times as fast as the number of nurses in 2008/9.

‘Yet again funds that are urgently needed for the frontline are being swallowed up by Labour's bureaucratic black hole,' he said.

A DoH spokesperson said despite the rise, managers make up just 3.5% of the NHS workforce.

The DoH is aiming to reduce management costs by 30% by 2013/14.

Editor's blog: Unloved NHS managers deserve a little more credit

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