NHS workers receive 'golden goodbyes'25th October 2012
A report from Audit Scotland has found that hundreds of NHS workers received ‘golden goodbyes’ worth an average of nearly £44,000 each last year.
The payments come amid ongoing staff cutbacks and mark a 35% increase on the previous year’s payments.
Audit Scotland found that 475 doctors, nurses, managers and administrators were handed exit packages worth a total of £20.8 million in 2011/12.
While a detailed breakdown of the figures was not disclosed, the report did reveal that 133 people – 28% of them – received more than £50,000.
The auditors also heard that health boards were on target to reduce staff numbers by 802 in the current financial, with 4,651 having left since September 2009.
Opposition politicians in Scotland questioned the payments.
Scottish Tory health spokesman Jackson Carlaw said: “People will find it hard to understand why millions upon millions have been spent in this way.”
Jackie Baillie, from the Scottish Labour party described the pay-outs as “an alarm call to the SNP.”
NHS Fife handed out more than £5 million to 79 staff in the past year, an average of £65,000 each, while figures show that Orkney, Lothian, Lanarkshire and Grampian health boards all paid out slightly more than £2 million. The largest health board NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde paid out slightly less than £2 million.
SNP Health Minister Alex Neil said the report provided evidence of “robust financial management”.
Audit Scotland said health boards made £319 million of savings last year but are struggling to make a further £272 million of cuts for 2012/13.
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