A snapshot survey of around 200 NHS and social care managers across the UK found that 20% spent seven to eight hours a day on admin.
The research, by healthcare app Florence, also found that many felt they ‘wasted’ more than 20 hours a week on bureaucracy.
Other findings from the study revealed that 45% of respondents said the time spent on admin was impacting service users’ health or care.
More than a third (35%) of respondents told the survey that time was being wasted due to outdated technology and working methods.
According to the research, the administrative tasks taking up the most time included rota scheduling (43%), documentation and record-keeping (30%) and speaking to agencies to secure cover staff (21%).
Staff shortages were highlighted as another major issue, with 27% of respondents saying they were ‘overworked and understaffed’.
One in six (17%) NHS and social care managers told the survey that their service needed at least 50% more staff to operate properly.
Nearly a quarter (22%) revealed that their admin workload had caused staff to quit, while 24% said they had considered looking for a completely different career themselves.
Meanwhile, nearly half (48%) said paperwork prevented them from doing the job they felt they should be doing, and 45% admitted that admin had been a drain on team morale.
Dr Charles Armitage, chief executive and co-founder of Florence, said: ‘With care services under such a persistent level of pressure due to patient numbers and a lack of budget, we need to be smarter with how we utilise our healthcare workers’ time.
‘Additional funding and the use of tech is a clear solution to some of the administrative difficulties the industry is currently facing.’
The findings were based on a survey of 222 NHS and social care and managers across the UK, conducted by Florence in September 2023.