Nearly 4,000 managers have been rehired by health service organisations since being made redundant during the government’s NHS re-organisation, according to latest figures.
A government response to a parliamentary question tabled by the Labour party revealed that the number had reached 3,950, meaning it has almost doubled in the last year from 2,200.
Labour said the information would be particularly “galling” for nurses in the wake of last week’s threat by ministers to hold-back a 1% basic pay rise from the majority of NHS nurses.
“It will be utterly galling for nurses to see cheques handed out like confetti to people who have now been rehired”
Bolton West MP Julie Hilling asked the government how many NHS staff had been made redundant and subsequently re-employed by NHS organisations on a permanent and fixed-term contract basis since May 2010.
In response, health minister Daniel Poulter said the number estimated to have been made redundant and subsequently – up until November 2013 – re-employed by the NHS on a permanent basis was 2,570. On a fixed term contract basis it was 1,380.
He noted that the estimates were derived from unvalidated data from the Electronic Staff Record Data Warehouse.
Dr Poulter added: “By reducing managers and administrators by over 21,100, we are freeing up extra resources for patient care – £5.5bn in this parliament and £1.5bn every year thereafter.”
However, Labour claimed that non-clinical NHS staff made redundant in the reorganisation received average pay-offs of £43,000 and 2,300 received packages worth six figures.
In a statement targeted at nursing staff, Labour health spokesman Andy Burnham said: “It will be utterly galling for nurses who’ve just had a pay cut from David Cameron to see he’s been handing out cheques like confetti to people who have now been rehired.
“On his watch, we have seen pay-offs for managers and pay cuts for nurses,” he said.
He claimed the government’s NHS re-organisation had wasted £3bn and “left the NHS in a weak financial position”, for which “nurses are paying the price”.
Mr Burnham said: “The sickening scale of the waste caused by Cameron’s reorganisation is finally becoming clear. It will infuriate people who can’t get a GP appointment or nurses who are struggling to pay the bills.
“It’s clear that people who received pay-offs are now coming back to the NHS in ever greater numbers,” he added.