‘Cheques like confetti’ as ‘redundant’ NHS managers are rehired at cost

Bad budgeting: The NHS has spent far more money firing and re-hiring pen-pushers than it is willing to give in increased pay to nurses. In what twisted system is that fair? [Image: BBC]

Bad budgeting: The NHS has spent far more money firing and re-hiring pen-pushers than it is willing to give in increased pay to nurses. In what twisted system is that fair? [Image: BBC]

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.”

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8 thoughts on “‘Cheques like confetti’ as ‘redundant’ NHS managers are rehired at cost

  1. Freezemonkey

    It happens all the time.

    It’s not just NHS managers, a lot of public sector employees that are in more administerial/managerial roles have been made redundant or even left, only to be rehired as consultants. It’s how many of them have got round the pay freeze that has occurred in the public sector.

    I know of an office that has done this with all of its employees (low paid and high paid). Its managers advised everybody to leave the public sector department, and when they were all rehired the following day, they signed contracts on higher rates.

  2. Barry Davies

    The NHS desperately needs streaming there are far to many managerial and arms length posts which the money goes to instead of staff who actually do something to help the people they are there to help.

  3. jaypot2012

    As an ex-employee (over 20 years ago) of the NHS, I have always said that there were far too many cooks and not enough indians! I worked as a PA and saw the waste – mountains of desks, word processors, chairs, typewriters, office equipment etc being stored in wards that had been closed down as they couldn’t afford to keep them open!!
    Every year we had to get new office equipment, from larger desks right down to new boxes of paper clips so that the budget was spent – and the meeting rooms and the large committee room had the same overhaul. Waste, waste, waste 🙁

    1. Barry Davies

      Well what do you expect them to do when they keep giving contracts to it companies who always bid less than they are going to cost and decide that all the hardware needs replacing but have never yet been capable of presenting a stable software program to run on it. You have to realise it isn’t their fault they are only doing what is the most economically viable. Now you know what happened when they decided that mental health issues were best dealt with by care in the community, they put them all in NHS procurement departments on the IT side.

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