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Friday, 24 October 2014

NHS spends £196k on job cut payouts

REDUNDANCY payouts to staff at Cumbria’s health body as part of the controversial shake-up of the NHS has cost the taxpayer almost £200,000.

According to figures from the Department of Heath £196,000 was paid out in compulsory redundancies to staff at Cumbria Primary Care Trust in 2011/2012.

As part of the controversial overhaul of the NHS, PCTs are to be abolished in April, and replaced by GP-led groups which will then be handed massive NHS budgets to commission treatment and services for their area.

Critics have already expressed concern that some of the staff laid off by the PCT will be rehired in the new organisations as doctors will not have the necessary management skills to commission the work.

A Department of Health spokesman said: “These are one-off costs. By investing in these changes we will be able to reduce unnecessary bureaucracy and free up extra resources – £5.5bn during this Parliament and £1.5bn every year thereafter – for patient care.”

The figures, the result of a Parliamentary question by Labour’s Andy Burnham, come ahead of a Parliamentary debates on health.

Copeland MP and shadow health minister Jamie Reed said: “David Cameron’s top down reorganisation of the NHS was kept hidden from the public before the last general election.

“It has no support, no mandate and no legitimacy.

“More importantly it has taken £3bn of taxpayer’s money away from NHS services and it keeps on taking money out of our local NHS.

“This has not stopped yet and more cuts are on the way. His NHS promises are worthless.”

Labour shadow health secretary Andy Burnham said Labour would repeal the act if it won the election.

The changes are part of the Health and Social Care Bill which faced a rocky path through Parliament, and saw nurses, doctors and midwives speak out about the plans.

A spokeswoman for the trust said: “NHS Cumbria has maintained historically low management costs in comparison to other primary care trusts in the region.

“As part of changes to the way the NHS works in the future, more costs have been stripped out through, where appropriate, management redundancies.

“Under redundancy, posts cannot be re-filled either by existing or new NHS commissioning organisations, thereby making them permanent savings that can be reinvested in front-line patient care.

“The figures published show Cumbria’s redundancy costs for the period in question are 15 times lower than costs experienced primary care trusts in other parts of the country.”

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