The cost of NHS managers has risen by £578m in two years, according to the Conservative party.
An analysis of the number of administrative staff together with new data on earnings, shows how salary costs grew in line with the numbers employed between 2002 and 2004.
Andrew Lansley, the shadow health secretary, said the government’s efforts to cut admin costs had been ineffective.
The £578m spent on extra managers could have paid for more than 27,000 nurses, or 8,000 extra doctors it said.
As well as the increased numbers employed, salaries also rose in that period according to DoH figures. In 2002 administrative and clerical staff were earning on average £15,300 a year. This rose to £16,600 in 2004. Managers and senior managers who earned on average £35,700 in 2002 were earning on average £38,200 in 2004.
A Department of Health spokesman said the small proportion of the NHS budget spent on management is falling.