The overall number of registered nurses employed by the NHS decreased last year by 3,678, according to latest figures.
The number of registered nurses employed in NHS hospitals and community services continued to increase last year, but this was off-set by a reduction in bank and GP practice nurses.
The NHS information Centre has today published details of the NHS workforce census for 2010, showing there show there were 1.4 million staff working for the NHS in England on 30 September.
As at 30 September 2010, the NHS employed a total headcount of 352,104 qualified hospital and community nurses – excluding practice nurses and bank staff – representing an increase of 1,405 since 2009 and an increase of 62,723 since 2000. Provisional figures for December 2010 show a further increase of 1,272 since September.
But when bank staff and practice nurses are included in the figures, there were 410,615 qualified nurses employed in total. This represents a decrease of 3,678 since 2009 and an increase of 74,663 since 2000.
The census also showed the NHS employed 380,605 clinical support staff – including bank staff – an increase of 4,266 since 2009 and an increase of 73,380 since 2000.
The figures, however, reveal a falling trend in the NHS management workforce. On 30 September 2010, the NHS employed 41,962 managers and senior managers – a decrease of 2,770 since 2009 and an increase of 16,706 since 2000.
Provisional figures for December 2010 show a further decrease of 1,143 since September.
Health minister Simon Burns said: “The latest census shows that the NHS has taken up the challenge to reduce management costs whilst the number of doctors and nurses has increased.
“The size and shape of the workforce needs to change so that we have less bureaucrats and the right levels of clinical staff so that care can be brought closer to home for patients.”
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