The NHS spent over £46 million last year on 1,129 jobs in areas such as public relations, the EU and “green” staff.
The Taxpayers Alliance, a group which campaigns for lower taxes, said the money spent could have paid for 1,662 full time nurses.
Freedom of Information (FOI) requests were sent to every NHS organisation in the UK.
The FOI revealed that the NHS employed at least 826 public relations staff at an estimated cost of £34 million.
And at least 165 equality and diversity staff are employed at a cost of more than £6.8 million. It also employed at least 86 ‘green’ staff costing around £3.5 million.
In 2013, six NHS employees were paid more than £100,000 for a job which the Taxpayers’ Alliance deemed unnecessary.
Dean Royles, chief executive of the NHS Employers organisation, said: “It’s absolutely right that every pound of NHS spend is held up to scrutiny. All our citizens – black, white, straight, gay, disabled, young and old – deserve to access high quality NHS services.
“Sadly, all too often people from minority groups are discriminated against or struggle to access services, with the result of some huge health inequalities and differences in life expectancy. I’m proud that NHS trusts are prepared to invest in posts and expertise that can help to put that right.”