The number of senior managers working in the NHS has dropped 8.7% in one year while nurses have fallen 1.3%, 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.
The number of qualified nursing, midwifery and health visiting staff working full-time equivalent fell 1% to 308,401 from 311,493 the year before.
Within this figure, there was a 1.3% fall in the number of qualified nurses, from 281,836 to 278,140 (a drop of 3,696).
There has been a 2.9% 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 dropped 1%, from 8,144 to 8,065, while the number of school nurses increased 6.7% 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% across England.
Overall, there were 1,193,344 NHS staff working full or part-time in November 2011, down 24,370 (2%) 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 £20 billion in the NHS in England is hitting the front line - something we have long been saying through our ‘Frontline First’ campaign.”