NHS sees bureaucratic 'explosion' as number of managers soars by 125%

17 May 2022, 11:01

NHS sees bureaucratic 'explosion' as number of senior officials soars by 125%

By James Bickerton

An 'explosion' in NHS bureaucracy is behind a near doubling in the number of health service officials since February 2020, according to a senior journalist.

The figure was contained in a new Policy Exchange report, which found the number of Department for Health and NHS England officials soared to 14,515, from just 7,883 in 2020.

Over the same period total pay for bureaucrats at the Department of Health and NHS England doubled, whilst the number of senior officials increased by 125%.

By contrast, the number of nurses has only increased by 7% since the coronavirus pandemic first struck Britain.

Kate Ferguson, Deputy Political Editor at The Sun, broke the story for her paper.

Appearing on Nick Ferrari at Breakfast she said: "What these stats do is lay bare the explosion in NHS bureaucracy. It is incredible really.

"This report warns an increasing chunk of NHS money has been piled into these managers over the years, and whilst various health secretaries have promised to crackdown on red tape this has not really happened and they're warning enough is enough.

"One of the reasons I think you have this layer of middle-managers in the NHS is a huge bureaucracy and you have so many targets, so a hospital will have its doctors, its nurses, its various backroom staff.

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Sajid Javid is under pressure to cut NHS waste.
Sajid Javid is under pressure to cut NHS waste. Picture: Alamy/LBC

"It has a bunch of targets it has to hit. If it doesn't hit them it has to explain why. We have this whole industry emerging justifying what a hospital does, and certainly that comes with a huge cost."

Speaking to The Sun a Department for Health source insisted: "The upcoming review into NHS leadership will lead to real change with fewer bureaucrats."

The new figures will increase pressure on Health Secretary Sajid Javid to ensure the 1.25% national insurance rise, which came into effect in April, isn't wasted.

Boris Johnson announced the new tax would be used to boost social care and tackle the NHS backlog created by Covid.

“I worry that’s going to happen to Saj.”

A top Tory source commented: "If Saj [Javid] has a major plan to make sure we get value for money, then I haven’t seen it yet.

“The Department of Health and the NHS are good at making their ministers go native.

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