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Senior NHS manager headcount falls 9 per cent

The number of senior managers working in the NHS has dropped nearly 9 per cent in one year, while nurse numbers have fallen 1.3 per cent, figures show.

Data from the NHS Information Centre reveals 10,786 senior managers were working the equivalent of full-time in November 2011, down from 11,816 in November 2010, a drop of 8.7 per cent.

The number of qualified nursing, midwifery and health visiting staff working full-time equivalent fell 1 per cent to 308,401 from 311,493 the year before.

Within this figure, there was a 1.3 per cent fall in the number of qualified nurses, from 281,836 to 278,140.

There has been a 2.9 per cent rise in the number of midwives working full-time equivalent, from 20,428 in November 2010 to 21,028 in November 2011 - a rise of 600.

The number of health visitors has fallen 1 per cent, from 8,144 to 8,065, while the number of school nurses increased 6.7 per cent from 1,085 to 1,158.

The number of doctors, including locums, has gone up, from 100,204 to 101,668 - a rise of 1.5 per cent across England.

Overall, there were 1,193,344 NHS staff working full or part-time in November 2011, down 24,370 (2 per cent) on November 2010 (1,217,714).

Health minister Simon Burns said: “Despite Labour’s constant scaremongering, these figures are clear proof that the NHS is moving forwards under the coalition.”

Peter Carter, chief executive of the Royal College of Nursing, said: “These alarming figures expose the myth that numbers of nurses are rising.

“They also reveal that the pressure to save £20bn in the NHS in England is hitting the front line - something we have long been saying through our ‘Frontline First’ campaign.”

Readers' comments (11)

  • Senior nurses are also managers taking on commissioning as a role where they bring their "front line" expertise to bear.

    Is it possible to assess how many of the 9% are also nurses?

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  • I don't think this information is "clear proof" of anything.....

    at best it is evidence....

    but even then is it evidence of "moving forward"

    where is "forward" anyway in relation to the NHS and what scale does the Health Minister mean - moving forward in time seems honest!

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  • Ah but how much has the the cost of management consultants gone up? Bet McKinseys have done exceptionally well.

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  • Please focus on the numbers and not the percentages. A decrease of nurses of 1.3% means a staggering loss of 3,696 nursing frontline jobs at a time when dependency of patients and co-morbidity is at an all time high. MID STAFFS on a system level is occuring. There was no fat to trim on the nursing workforce.

    And given the high cost of emplyment how can the medical workforce be growing. This information deserves explaination.

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  • Surely a typo: Should read "Senior manager heads have dropped".

    No argument with that. #reorganisingourselvestodeath

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  • The figures make intersting headlines but in isolationmeaningless Butthose that doubt the validity should visit PCTs and SHAs and see the number of empty desks -----but how many locum/interim posts have taken on some of tasks ?

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  • Does anyone know how many senior managers took advantage of MARS?

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  • In the 2010 round, it was 2200 at a cost of £40m.
    http://tinyurl.com/79ypltx

    but then each community had several of these, so it's probably more like 3000 over 10/11.
    But reading the stats in more detail, it appears that the above calculation was done after the bulk of MARS deals had been done. So those 1030 people are probably local MARS schemes. Were hospital staff eligible? They seem to be doing most of the cutting in my region. And most of the senior PCT/SHA staff have already moved into provider roles.

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  • Burns is such a dope. Has he ever said a sensible thing?

    His comment is clear proof that the Coalition's main measure of success on the NHS is getting rid of managers; to play to Daily Mail headlines that everything would be fine with the NHS if it wasn't for those pesky managers.

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  • But it will all be ok when the GP's take over because they can do everything...commission, treat, manage, refer! Mmmm but aren't they against the bill too? It has also been stated that many are against the denigration of managers so loved by the Govt. My only surprise is that more didn't take advantage of MARS. The headline is that senior manager numbers have fallen, which may or may not be true (notwithstanding some of the comments above about clinicians being senior managers) What is for certain is the mess and demotivation which is rife in many organisations. Great legacy Mr Cameron!

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  • Clearly with the latest nick clegg it will be all right honest assurances we can look forward to every GP declaring their financial interest at every meeting they attend.......

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