The number of NHS hospital managers has doubled in the last ten years, Government figures show.

There were 39,391 managers in 2005 - up from 20,842 in 1995.

Between 2004 and 2005, the number of managers rose by 1,665.

Overall, the NHS workforce in England has grown by 30 per cent over the past decade, according to the figures published by the Information Centre for Health and Social Care.

The centre said the figures showed that more than 1.3 million people were employed in the NHS in 2005, compared with a million in 1995, making the workforce figure the highest ever.

There are 37,900 more doctors and 87,300 more nurses than in 1995, it said, adding that the managers represented under three per cent of the workforce.

Professor Denise Lievesley, chief executive of the centre, said: "Census statistics provide a valuable overall

picture of the NHS workforce and are used widely by health organisations.

"They provide a view of the changing profile of the NHS as it develops to meet new ways of delivering healthcare."

Dave Prentis, general secretary of Unison, said the figures proved the Government's health reforms were "distorting" where funding was needed.

He said: "The latest reforms have increased bureaucracy and the need to employ more managers."