NHS Paid £92 Million to Make Staff Redundant -- Then Hired Them Again

By Gary Cutlack on at

The baffling quagmire of money and administration that holds together the NHS has thrown up some extremely odd new numbers, with figures suggesting that £92 million has been spent on paying off staff made redundant who were subsequently rehired on new contracts.

The numbers are for the three years from April 2012, and show that 2,641 individuals were lucky enough to benefit from redundancy payouts averaging around the  £36,000 -- before returning to other bits of the NHS on different contracts. The numbers come via The Times, which quotes shadow health secretary Heidi Alexander as saying: "If you wanted a symbol of the folly of the NHS reorganisation, then firing and rehiring managers must surely be it. On David Cameron's watch it's been payoffs for managers and pay cuts for nurses."

One particularly bizarre quoted case is that of husband and wife NHS managers Karen Straughair and Chris Reed. Straughair benefitted from a £600,000 pay off when NHS South of Tyne and Wear was abolished, before she rejoined the NHS at Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust. Her husband also pocketed a redundancy cheque, picking up a £345,000 lump when NHS South of Tyne and Wear finished. He's now joined his wife as the interim chief executive of the same Leeds trust, highlighting what Heidi Alexander describes as a "merry-go-round of waste." [The Times]

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