Number of NHS Managers Grows by 18% in Four Years

Official data suggests that the number of NHS managers has grown by nearly 20% over the last four years.

And this is particularly damning for the authorities, as the Conservative administration had previously introduced policies intended to reduced the level of bureaucracy in the health service.

In April 2013, Jeremy Hunt had unveiled the Health and Social Care Act; considered controversial in some quarters.

However, there has been an increase of 4,650 total management posts since this date.

Observers are already contrasting this with the radical decrease in the number of GPs over the same period.

This is despite the fact that the government has committed to increasing GP staffing by 5,000 by the end of the decade.

The British Medical Association has already criticised the figures on management, suggesting that ministers are fundamentally failing in their objective of shifting resources to frontline employees.

Meanwhile, 92 GP practices have closed during the 2016 calendar year.

Dr Richard Vautrey, deputy chair of the BMA’s GP committee, was outspoken with his comments on the matter, suggesting that NHS policy is failing to match government rhetoric.

“Patients will be bemused that when their care is being undermined by GP and nurse staff shortages, the number of administrative posts has risen again. With the NHS at breaking point, we need ministers to get their priorities right. They need to follow through on their election pledges and invest in recruiting more GPs so that we can offer enough appointments to the public.”

This is despite the fact that David Cameron’s government had previously indicated its intention to “cut the number of health bodies to help meet the government’s commitment to cut NHS administration costs by a third, including by abolishing primary care trusts and strategic health authorities”.

Yet the number of managers and senior managers working within the NHS in England increased by 3.5% between 2015 and 2016, across hospitals, trusts and clinical commissioning groups.

With general practice widely reported as struggling in the existing NHS climate, there is also serious concern that the recent Brexit decision will lead to many GPs hailing from the Eurozone returning to their native countries.

An NHS England spokesperson defended healthcare policy, suggesting that the taxpayer is receiving value for money.

“The OECD says that on a like-for-like basis we spend only 2p in the pound on NHS administration, compared to 5p in Germany and 6p in France, and we have one of the most efficient health services in the world. But over the next three years we’re going to cut at least another quarter of a billion pounds from administrative costs to reinvest in frontline patient care.”

 

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