Intended for healthcare professionals


All HEE staff are offered redundancy

BMJ 2017; 356 doi: (Published 27 February 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;356:j1051
  1. Abi Rimmer
  1. BMJ Careers
  1. arimmer{at}

All staff at Health Education England have been offered the chance to take voluntary redundancy.

On Thursday 23 February HEE, the organisation responsible for medical education and training in England, wrote to all its 2614 staff announcing that it had opened a “Volunteering for Redundancy Scheme” to allow them to say whether they would be prepared to volunteer for redundancy.

In 2014 HEE announced that it was consulting on substantial changes designed to ensure its sustainability, reduce its senior staffing bill, and cut its running costs. In the same year HEE said that it was required by the Department of Health in England to “reduce running costs by 20% by April 2015 and reduce the number of posts paid over £100k per annum by at least the same amount.”1

The email sent to staff last week by Steve Clark, HEE’s director of finance, and Lee Whitehead, its director of people and communications, said, “You will be aware that HEE has to reduce the amount of money spent on running the organisation and plans for achieving this are currently being discussed in senior teams.

“These proposals setting out how we intend to deliver these cost reductions (required as a result of the 2015 Comprehensive Spending Review) will be presented to our Board on 14 March.”

The voluntary redundancy scheme is open to all staff currently employed by HEE, but staff do not have an automatic right to voluntary redundancy. HEE also said that anyone who submitted an expression of interest and received an offer to take redundancy under the scheme would not be bound to accept it if they did not wish to do so.

The email said that HEE would have to make several considerations when approving applications for voluntary redundancy, such as “the requirement to retain qualifications, skills and experience which are essential to HEE” and “the needs of the organisation and financial implications.”

Commenting on the plans, Ian Cumming, HEE’s chief executive, said, “HEE faces the requirement to reduce the amount of money we spend on running the organisation to reflect both the reduction in our administration budget over the coming period and the need to free up resources to reinvest in our priorities as an organisation, which includes primary care.

“HEE and our trade union partners are committed to avoiding compulsory redundancies wherever possible. We are committed to using a voluntary approach; it therefore makes sense to run this scheme now, as all of the savings that accrue will in turn reduce the total amount required from the wider changes currently being planned for the 2017-18 financial year.”