THE number of NHS managers in Yorkshire has risen by 10 per cent over the past year – while doctor and nurse staffing levels have decreased.
Latest figures show a 10.4 per cent increase in the number of senior health service managers in the region between 2014 and 2015 and a 5.3 per cent rise in managers.
But the data, from the Health and Social Care Information Centre, shows the number of full time equivalent (FTE) doctors has fallen by 0.1 per cent and nurses and midwives by 0.3 per cent.
The decrease comes amid growing demand on Yorkshire hospitals, with 35,000 more patient admissions in 2014/15 than the previous year.
Compared to 2009, there are now almost 2,500 fewer NHS nurses and midwives working in the region – a drop which a nursing body called “totally unacceptable”.
Glenn Turp, regional director for the Royal College of Nursing in Yorkshire and The Humber, said: “It defies logic when, over the same period, demand on the NHS has grown so much that many hospitals are saying pressures that were once confined to the winter are now an all-year-round occurrence.
“We have warned repeatedly that nursing staff are working under relentless pressure to keep patients safe and well cared-for. Many feel overworked and undervalued, and it must not be allowed to continue.
“The Government must commit to train and retain more nurses to make up for their misguided cuts to the workforce in the past few years and ensure there are enough nurses to give patients the safe and high-quality care they deserve.”
In Yorkshire, numbers of managers and senior NHS managers increased by nearly 200 in the 12 months from December 2014. Overall, NHS staffing was up by 1.3 per cent or the equivalent of 1,403 full time workers.
Nationally, levels of NHS bosses also went up, with manager numbers rising 6.5 per cent to 20,300 and senior managers increasing by 5.3 per cent to 9,260.
The number of full time equivalent staff in the health service in England has gone up by 1.8 per cent since 2014.
Dr Mark Porter, chair of council at the British Medical Association, said: “Many NHS managers do a good job for the NHS in difficult circumstances, but it is surprising that when many areas of the NHS are suffering from unfilled posts and staff shortages, the number of managers is beginning to increase again.
“The reported rise in staffing levels of barely 2 per cent is insignificant given what the NHS needs when it is facing rapidly increasing patient demand, especially from an ageing population with complex health needs that requires expanding support in the community and in hospitals.
“These figures show little evidence of the huge expansion in the workforce that is needed to deliver the Government’s current uncosted and vague plan to increase the NHS’s capacity through its so-called seven-day service proposal.”
A Department of Health spokeswoman said: “There are 5,000 fewer managers in the NHS since 2010, saving the taxpayer £300 million.
“At the same time, there are 10,600 more nurses on our wards, 50,000 nurses currently in training and our changes to student funding will create up to 10,000 more training places by the end of this parliament.”