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NHS transition redundancies hit women hardest

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A disproportionate number of women have been made redundant during the reorganisation of the NHS, latest figures reveal.

Data on NHS staff affected by the transition obtained by Nursing Times’ sister title Health Service Journal shows that 74% of all those made redundant were women, when only 69% of staff affected by the restructure were female.

The data applies to quarter one of 2012-13, and comes from the most recent report prepared for the NHS Commissioning Board on the Department of Health’s “people tracker”, which monitors NHS employees whose jobs will be affected.

Jog Hundle, partner specialising in NHS employment at Mills and Reeve solicitors, said the high levels of women being made redundant was probably due to more part-time posts being removed.

The tracker also shows that staff over 40 are more likely to be made redundant – accounting for 77% of those laid off against 65% of the workforce overall. Younger staff are more likely to leave through “natural attrition”.

On ethnicity, it shows that 86% of staff made redundant are of white British, white Irish and “white other” backgrounds, groups that together comprise 80% of the overall workforce.

The tracker shows that by the end of June this year there were 37,325 full time equivalent staff in “sender” organisations – NHS bodies such as primary care trusts and strategic health authorities whose functions will be transferred to new organisations by April 2013.

This total had fallen from 38,163 in April, meaning 839 full time equivalent staff – or 2.2% – left sending organisations over those three months. Of these, 551 went through natural attrition.

Although the Midlands and East region saw the biggest number of staff leave, with 2.8% of SHA staff and 3.1% of PCT staff departing, the North had the largest number of redundancies, accounting for more than half of those across the country.

A total of 194 were transferred to other parts of the NHS – known as “receiving” organisations, and 95 were made redundant. Half of these were compulsory redundancies.

A further 129 were identified “at risk”, while 94 posts were described as “deferred redundancy”. Sixty-two were under notice of redundancy.

Jon Restell, chief executive of the union Managers in Partnership, warned that further redundancies were likely over the coming months, as those left in the system may lack the right skills or not be based in the right part of the country.

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  • The biggest discrepency is age, then colour then women. Why does it not say white people more likely to be made redundant. Or older people? Could it be a women who wrote the article or are we afraid to publish anything that maybe seen as racist?

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