NHS bureaucracy bill soars by £78 million in two years

The number of bureaucrats working for the NHS has soared over the past two years, according to a survey.

The amount spent on employing managers has risen by a quarter, or £78 million, in the past two years, the study shows. NHS Trusts blamed Whitehall targets for the increase.

It comes a day after NICE, the drugs rationing watchdog, refused funding for life prolonging bowel cancer drug Avastin, saying it was not cost effective.

Pulse, a magazine for GPs, found that projected spending on management salaries has increased by 25 per cent between 2007/08 and 2009/10 in primary care trusts, which look after community services. It was up from £312million to £390million.

But the true figure is likely to be far higher, because only a third – 55 – of the 152 trusts responded.

The rise is largely down to trusts taking on more managers, with 15 that provided headcounts saying the number of posts had gone up 14 per cent.

These trusts also reported that the cost per manager had risen by 11 per cent. David Stout, director of the NHS Confederation’s PCT Network, said it was “unrealistic” for such increases to continue.

“A lot of this is spending trusts are carrying out in response to what the Department of Health has asked for,” he told the Daily Mail.

Conservative health spokesman, Mike Penning said: “It is inevitable the rises must be keeping money away from patient care and the front line.

“Labour ministers must explain why so much more is being spent on management after a reorganisationof PCTs that was intended to produce efficiency savings.”

The editor of Pulse, Richard Hoey, added: “What we’re seeing exposed here is the bureaucratic machinery that has been put in place to implement Government policy priorities.

“These are policies which look good on paper, but in practice create whole new chains of managerial command.”

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