A quarter of staff laid off by the NHS at a cost of £2billion are re-hired – by the National Health Service
- The NHS has rehired 8,192 people it has made redundant over the past decade
- New figures show the heath service has paid staff £500m who later rejoined
- Senior managers receive six-figure pay-offs only to return after a few weeks
- The figure could have paid for more than 20,000 nurses for an entire year
Almost a quarter of NHS workers made redundant over the past decade have been rehired by the Health Service.
Shocking new figures reveal that 35,827 staff have received pay-offs worth a staggering total of £1.99 billion since 2010, but 8,192 people have been taken back on.
It means the NHS may have paid £500 million in redundancy pay- offs to people who simply rejoined the service. The figure is enough to fund the salaries of more than 20,000 nurses for a year.
Chris Reed, former Chief Executive of NHS North of Tyne, received a £345,000 redundancy payment when the body was abolished in 2013, however, he returned to the NHS within three months as interim CEO of Leeds Teaching Hospital NHS Trust. His wife Karen Straughair was also made redundant at the same time receiving a £605,000 pay out before also securing a role as recovery director at the same hospital as her husband
The ‘revolving door’ scandal has seen some managers given six-figure pay-offs and start new NHS jobs just weeks later.
Many redundancies were caused by the controversial shake-up of NHS bureaucracy under the former Health Secretary Andrew Lansley, which saw local primary care trusts (PCTs) and regional strategic health authorities (SHAs) replaced by more than 200 clinical commissioning groups (CCGs).
Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary Jonathan Ashworth said last night: ‘These amounts spent on redundancy packages for staff – many of whom were subsequently rehired because of Government- imposed changes – are simply staggering at a time when desperate financial strain has been imposed on the NHS.
‘Patients whose operations have been cancelled or who have been left languishing on a trolley will be disgusted at this incompetence.’
Department of Health civil servant Alan Perkins, pictured, received a £306,000 pay off from his ‘informatics’ job in 2013, but was immediately appointed to a new £150k-a-year NHS role with £172k in pension benefits
The Tories say their hands were tied due to generous redundancy rules introduced under the previous Labour government.
The figures, released in response to a parliamentary question by Mr Ashworth, show that 2,834 NHS workers have been given payouts worth more than £100,000 since April 2010. Of those, 393 were more than £200,000.
They include Alan Perkins, a former Department of Health civil servant, who received a £306,538 pay-off when made redundant from his ‘informatics’ job in 2013. But he then became interim chief executive at the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) – now called NHS Digital – for a year and was paid just under £150,000, plus £172,000 in pension benefits.
Karen Straughair, 55, received £605,000 and her husband Chris Reed, 62, collected £345,000 when the two NHS organisations they ran on Tyneside were abolished in 2013.
Within three months, both had secured jobs at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust – Mr Reed as interim chief executive and Ms Straughair as recovery director. They have both since moved on.
There is no suggestion that any of these individuals broke any rules or acted improperly.
A Department of Health spokesman said: ‘Spending on redundancies has reduced significantly since 2010, with nearly a third of these being taken voluntarily. Further to this, in 2015 we capped redundancy packages for high-earning NHS staff, freeing up more money to be spent on frontline services.’