Hospitals are employing new managers at a faster rate than doctors and nurses, figures show.
Since 2013, NHS trusts took on 3,600 managers compared with 8,300 more doctors and 7,000 more nurses.
The increase equates to a 19 per cent rise in management jobs, compared to 8 per cent more doctors and just 2 per cent more nurses.
The figures are from NHS Digital and come just weeks after it showed that there were 1,300 more NHS managers than a year ago while overall nurse and GP recruitment numbers fell.
Since 2013, NHS trusts took on 3,600 managers compared with 8,300 more doctors and 7,000 more nurses (stock image)
In the past year alone the number of senior managers – typically starting on around £65,000 – increased by 7 per cent in England to 10,300.
Middle management has also continued to rise. The total number of managers is now more than 32,000 – a rise of almost a fifth in four years.
Yesterday, analysis by the BBC found more than three-quarters of NHS trusts in England increased management ranks while reporting nursing shortages. Nine trusts have more than doubled the number of managers employed since 2013.
Janet Davies, chief executive of the Royal College of Nursing, said: ‘Nurses on the NHS frontline will find these figures galling. The health service must be well run but it is nurses who are responsible for the vast majority of hands-on patient care.
Despite pledges by ministers to cut back on the ‘manager class’ running the NHS, the statistics show the number of senior positions are on the rise.
Overall, the NHS workforce rose by 1.5 per cent – by 17,900 to 1.21million – in the past year, according to NHS Digital, which handles health service data and technology.
The number of consultants and hospital doctors both rose, by 3.4 per cent (1,490) and 2.4 per cent (1,250) respectively. Midwives also crept up by 0.8 per cent (168).
A spokesman for regulator NHS Improvement said: ‘Research consistently shows that rather than having too many managers, the NHS actually has too few given the complexity of delivering modern healthcare. Many of these managers will also undertake clinical work.