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NHS spends £1.4bn on redundancy pay-offs


Ministers have been accused of wasting £1.4bn of NHS funding on redundancy pay-offs.

More than 950 health workers received six-figure exit deals last year, up from around 620 in 2011-12.

Some 160 received more than £200,000, according to the Department of Health’s annual accounts.

In total £1.4bn has been spent on 32,000 pay-offs over the past three years, according to Labour.

Shadow health secretary Andy Burnham said the “true cost” of the the coalition’s health service shake-up was becoming clear.

The figures suggested the final bill for the re-organisation would be far higher than the government had predicted, he said.

“At a time when the NHS needs every penny it can get, we have a Prime Minister handing out gold-plated, six-figure pay-offs to thousands of managers and P45s to thousands of nurses,” Mr Burnham said.

“Billions have been siphoned out of the NHS front-line to pay for an unnecessary re-organisation no-one voted for and David Cameron personally promised would not happen. It is a colossal waste of money.

“The money he has wasted on pay-outs for managers could instead have prevented the thousands of nurse redundancies we have seen on this Prime Minister’s watch. It will be galling for any nurses who have lost their jobs to see the sickening scale of these pay-outs.”

A Department of Health spokesperson said: “Last year we started changes that put doctors and nurses in the driving seat as they are best placed to take decisions about care for their patients.

“The changes made as a result of the reforms mean a huge net gain for the taxpayer. They will save £5.5bn during this Parliament and £1.5bn every year thereafter, to be reinvested back into patient care.”

Jon Skewes, director of the Royal College of Midwives, said: “The unnecessary top-down reorganisation has cost the NHS and taxpayer dear.

“Billions of pounds have gone to top managers to leave and often to be re-employed or used as consultants. This money, if invested in more midwives, could have solved the midwife shortage for years to come. Instead, we know that on current trends it (the midwife shortage) will last to at least 2026.”


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Readers' comments (5)

  • Who was it put these "Managers" in position in the first place? Labour?? It's either Conservative or Labour, both make mistakes and have to rectify each others errors.
    Just move on!

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  • Anonymous | 27-Aug-2013 4:09 pm

    Actually, it was Thatcher who put the managers in position and brought the business model to healthcare. That is why these non-clinical managers, who have swindled and mismanaged for years are receiving their reward in the form of sweet pay offs, on their way to another corporate job.
    It is difficult to 'move on', when the wages of staff have been frozen (effectively cut), their pensions have been plundered and the terms and conditions of those pensions have been broken. It is difficult to 'move on' when there are not enough staff to do the job and every day at work has become an exercise in survival and damage limitation. It is difficult to 'move on' when patients are clearly receiving sub standard care due to lack of staff and resources. £1.4b would have been better spent on conditions that foster decent patient care and not on the idiots who got us into this mess in the first instance.

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  • According to the BBC report on this story, the average (yes) pay-out was 377K. What were they all thinking? A plethora of under performing managers from a multitude of professional arenas, genuinely thought it was justifiable to take this money.
    It would appear that some of us don't need to sleep at night. Only during the day when managing understaffed and overstretched NHS trusts.

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  • Frankly, redundancy from the NHS is one of my ambitions - even tried the MARS (Mutually Agreed Resignation Scheme)

    Who are these nurses who get made redundant? It must be happening because the Nursing Times says so.....but I am yet to meet one.

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  • Anonymous | 28-Aug-2013 8:42 pm

    You are clearly a hard working, competent and dedicated nurse who has never stuffed up.........therefore you do not fit the eligibility criteria (lazy, incompetent, dangerous and heartless) for the receipt of a generous NHS redundancy package.

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