NHS paid £95m to dismiss managers who were later re-employed

BMJ 2013; 347 doi: (Published 10 July 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f4471
  1. Zosia Kmietowicz
  1. 1BMJ

A fifth of the 10 000 managers made redundant between May 2010 and September 2012 as part of the coalition government’s reorganisation of the NHS were subsequently re-employed, the public spending watchdog has found.

With average payouts of £43 095 (€50 000; $64 000) each, together these 2200 managers cost the NHS £95m to dismiss.

Redundancy payments were the single most expensive cost of implementing the Health and Social Care Act, accounting for 40% (£435m) of the £1.1bn cost of the changes up to 31 March 2013, the National Audit Office has said in a new report.1

These costs included £12.2m for redundancy payments to 44 “very senior managers”—an average of around £280 000 per person and ranging from £33 771 to £578 470. Redundancy payments can be reclaimed only if the person rejoins the NHS within fours weeks of leaving.

A key aim of the NHS changes was to reduce management staff and the administration costs of running the NHS in England. However, the government aimed to keep redundancies to a minimum by transferring people working in primary care trusts and strategic health authorities to new posts in the national body NHS England, local clinical commissioning groups, Public Health England, and other agencies. …

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