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The Coalition’s ‘reformed’ NHS has been spending a fortune on re-hiring managers it had previously given large redundancy payments – while Jeremy Hunt has been telling us there is no money to give nurses a pay rise.
Tory health minister Dan Poulter (the Health Secretary himself was nowhere to be heard) had to admit that 3,950 staff whose jobs were made redundant after May 2010 have since been hired back, in response to a Parliamentary question from Labour’s Julie Hilling. The figures cover a period up to November last year, so the true number may be even more.
These are managers who received large payoffs as part of the £3-4 billion ‘restructuring’ of the National Health Service that began before Andrew Lansley’s Health and Social Care Act was passed by Parliament.
The aim, as revealed in Nicholas Timmins’ Never Again: The Story of the Health and Social Care Act 2012, was defined by Oliver Letwin as “encouraging staff to quit public sector employment while selling their services back through social enterprise”. In other words, after losing their jobs in the ‘old’ NHS – and receiving large redundancy settlements for the inconvenience – managers were to be re-hired at high cost to the ‘new’ NHS.
Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham had this to say: “It’s clear that people who received payoffs are now coming back to the NHS in ever greater numbers. We need to know whether the Prime Minister has honoured his promise to recover redundancy payments from people who have been re-employed by his new organisations.
“The sickening scale of the waste caused by Cameron’s reorganisation is finally becoming clear. It will infuriate people who can’t get a GP appointment or nurses who are struggling to pay the bills.”
He pointed out: “It will be utterly galling for nurses who’ve just had a pay cut from David Cameron to see he’s been handing out cheques like confetti to people who have now been rehired.
“On his watch, we have seen payoffs for managers and pay cuts for nurses.”
Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike
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