Number of NHS managers re-employed after receiving redundancy doubles

Number of NHS managers re-employed after receiving redundancy doubles


The number of “revolving door” managers in the NHS has doubled in the last year, with four thousand people handed pay offs and then rehired by the organisation since 2010. More than one in six managers and administrators given payouts worth as much as £600,000 are now back working in the health service. New Government figures show 3,950 managers made redundant since the shake-up of NHS services in 2010 have since been rehired in another parts of the NHS. This has almost doubled in the last year from 2,200 managers, according to the Government’s response to a Parliamentary Question.


Labour has accused the Government of "handing out cheques like confetti to people who have now been rehired" at a time when health workers are facing a pay freeze. The figures show that since May 2010, 2,570 people made redundant have been rehired in permanent jobs in the health service. A further 1,380 have been taken back on fixed term contracts. Between April 2010 and the end of March 2013, the NHS had spent a total of £1.4billion on redundancy payments for 32,089 staff. The average of those payouts is more than £43,000. During 2012/13, 958 health officials received payoffs of more than £100,000 — up from 628 the year before.


Over all some 2,299 managers have been handed six-figure golden goodbyes since 2010 with many then moving to another position part of the NHS after just a month. The revolving door culture of the health service has been under fire after it was revealed in January that manager Rob Cooper received between £370,000 and £375,000 for losing his role as a deputy chief executive at Yorkshire and the Humber Strategic Health Authority.

By the time the trust was shut down he had moved on to a well-paid position as director of finance for South London Healthcare NHS Trust. The chief executive of NHS England, Sir David Nicholson, had appealed to managers to wait at least six months before taking another job in the service. However he is powerless to act as NHS rules mean staff must wait only four weeks after taking redundancy before they can move to a new position.


Mr Cooper, who now works as interim finance director at Barking, Havering and Redbridge University NHS Trust, said: “I have only charged for 75 per cent of my time, which I believe reflects the spirit of the letter from Sir David.” Daniel Poulter, the health minister, said: “By reducing managers and administrators by over 21,100, we are freeing up extra resources for patient care—£5.5 billion in this Parliament and £1.5 billion every year thereafter.”


Andy Burnham, Labour's shadow health minister, said the figures were “utterly galling” for nurses who are still faced with a pay freeze accusing the Government of “handing out cheques like confetti” to people who are immediately rehired. He added: “It’s clear that people who received pay-offs 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.

Last year married couple Karen Straughair, 50, and her husband Chris Reed, 57, received pay-outs of nearly £1 million when they were made redundant from their posts as NHS managers and were re-employed by the health service a few months later. Mrs Straughair the then chief executive of NHS Tyne and Wear, was paid £605,000 when it was wound up at the end of March, it was reported. Her husband Mr Reed who was chief executive of the NHS North of Tyne PCT, also received a redundancy payout of £345,000 when his organisation was abolished in the same month. In June both were taken on by the troubled Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust, where he took the role of interim chief executive and she was employed as the recovery director. Their salary arrangements are not known, and both have since left the trust.


Another NHS manager, Steve Spoerry was paid between £335,000 and £340,000, after his job as managing director of Halton and St Helens Primary Care Trust was axed last March. He is now director of strategy at South and West Yorkshire and Bassetlaw NHS Commissioning Support Unit, which insists it has ‘followed NHS England’s guidance’.


Former chief executive of Doncaster Primary Care Trust Annette Laban was handed between £285,000 and £290,000 before taking up a £15,500-a-year part-time role as a non-executive director of Sheffield Teaching Hospitals. There is no suggestion that any of these redundancy packages or appointments were outside the NHS rules.


By Georgia Graham,


The Telegraph, Monday 17th of March 2014.


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