Fewer school nurses and health visitors are working for the NHS, official figures have revealed.
Data from between September 2009 and April 2010 for England show 2.3% fewer school nurses and 1.8% fewer health visitors, which translates into a loss of around 200 fulltime NHS staff.
Fewer hospital doctors and radiographers were also reported, as well as 0.4% fewer managers.
However, the figures from the NHS Information Centre showed a 1.2% increase in the number of midwives and a slight increase in the number of qualified nurses.
GP numbers are not included in the statistics.
A British Medical Association spokesman said: “It’s impossible to identify a long-term drop in numbers of doctors at this stage. However, a downward trend in future would be a cause for concern.
“Despite the pledge to protect the frontline services, many employers in the NHS are already freezing recruitment in response to financial pressures.”
Clare Chapman, NHS director general for workforce, said: “This data shows that the number of clinicians in the NHS have been broadly stable and also the beginning of a downward trend in the number of managers in the NHS. This reduction in management costs will allow us to reinvest in clinical care to meet rising demand and improving outcomes.”
Copyright © Press Association 2010