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NHS pay-outs 'top £80m'

23rd August 2007

The NHS has paid out more than £80m in redundancy costs as strategic health authorities in England were reorganised.

The shake-up, which took place last year, saw more than 700 people lose their jobs as 28 former SHAs were merged into larger bodies to form 10 new authorities.

The SHAs were set up in 2002 but disbanded after only four years, in a restructuring the government hoped would create savings of £250m within the NHS.

But it also triggered job losses and redundancy payouts and it has emerged that the average redundancy package for senior managers topped £350,000, according to BBC research. One chief executive's retirement arrangements cost the NHS £900,000.

In addition, primary care trusts were also reorganised down from more than 300 to 152.

The Liberal Democrat party say this cost an additional £60m.

Liberal Democrat health spokesman Norman Lamb said: “This is the price we're paying for botched reforms. The government rushed into ill thought out reform...when the system didn't work they changed it.?

Shadow Health Secretary Andrew Lansley added: “These are the kind of costs that result from endless reorganisations. Not one penny contributes to the health of patients.?

SHAs said the changes will lead to more money put into front-line services.

A Department of Health spokeswoman said: “Inevitably there will be short-term costs as a result of reorganisation and it is right that NHS staff who are made redundant get what they are contractually and legally entitled to. However, the long-term benefits far outweigh any short-term costs.?


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Article Information

Title: NHS pay-outs 'top £80m'
Author: Mark Nicholls
Article Id: 3874
Date Added: 23rd Aug 2007


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