Labour today reveals the hidden costs of redundancy pay-outs in our local NHS trust arising from David Cameron’s NHS re-organisation.

The new figures come as a leaked report from the Department of Health confirms the full costs of the reorganisation at over £3 billion.

New, official figures list the costs of NHS redundancies in every community during the first year of the Tory-led Government’s NHS re-organisation. Figures reveal that locally the NHS has already been forced to spend £3,259,000 laying off staff – only for many expected to be re-employed elsewhere in the system. And this is just the first phase of redundancies – further damaging figures are expected in the summer.

The new figures come as a leaked Government ‘business case’ for its Health Bill confirms the vast overall costs of the Government’s NHS reorganisation. It confirms that £21,749,775 locally is being held back from NHS patient care to pay for the reorganisation, in the form of a Government-ordered 2 per cent Primary Care Trust budget hold back in 2011-12 and 2012-13 – amounting to £3.45bn across England.

Houghton and Sunderland South MP, Bridget Phillipson said:

“People will want to know why our local NHS has been forced to waste £3,259,000 on payouts only for many of the same staff to be re-employed in the new NHS organisations. This is only the first wave of redundancies – more are expected later this year and next as part of the Government’s reckless NHS re-organisation that will cost £21,749,775 in our area alone.

“Our local NHS is counting the cost of David Cameron’s arrogance. By pushing ahead with a re-organisation no-one wants, he is taking billions away from the NHS front-line just as it needs to focus on patient care.

“Cameron promised to protect the NHS but his back-office waste has resulted in front-line cuts, with thousands of nurses also losing their jobs since he became PM. He will never be trusted again on the NHS.”

Andy Burnham MP, Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary, said:

It is nothing short of scandalous that the Prime Minister is wasting billions on a unnecessary re-organisation whilst also cutting 4,000 nurses’ jobs.

“In Opposition, David Cameron promised no top-down re-organisation of the NHS. In office, he brought forward the biggest ever. Cameron is an NHS con-man and we will hold him to account for his betrayal of patients and staff.

“He has inflicted chaos on the NHS and patients are paying the price in longer waits and a growing postcode lottery.

“The argument in Westminster may be over but Labour is taking the battle for the NHS to every town, street and doorstep. We will be, as we have always been, the last line of defence for the NHS in your community. A vote for Labour in May is a positive vote for the NHS.”

Further reading

In response to a Parliamentary Question, the Government revealed that the NHS has spent £169 million on making staff redundant in the year 2010-11. (Hansard, 20 Feb 2012 : Column 713W)

Leaked Business Case says: “SHAs and PCTs are expected to fund their redundancy and other transition costs from local funding arrangements within the 2% headroom for non-recurrent spend, accumulated reserves, and further savings identified from the budget bundle. The 2% is worth approximately £1.6bn. The costs are therefore funded from within SHA and PCT allocations, and this is recognised in current NHS plans. The 2012-13 arrangements will be finalised with the NHS operating framework…” (p.29-30)

The 2% was worth £1.7bn in 2011-12. The 2012-13 Operating Framework subsequently confirmed a further 2% would be held back to fund “organisational and system change”, amounting to a further £1.7bn (“the requirement for all PCTs to set aside 2 per cent of their recurrent funding for non-recurrent expenditure purposes only will continue” -; para 4.8)

Since the election over 4,000 nursing posts have been cut in the NHS:

The latest monthly NHS Hospital and Community Health Service (HCHS) Workforce Statistics in England, published by the NHS Information Centre show that the NHS has lost 4,096 nurses since the election. In May 2010 there were 281,431 Full Time Equivalent (FTE) qualified nurses working in the NHS[1]. In December 2011, this figure had fallen to 277,334. The figure refers to the change in ‘Qualified nursing, midwifery & health visiting staff’ net of changes in the numbers of midwives, health visitors and school nurses.–december-2011-provisional-experimental-statistics

Recent research by the Royal College of Nursing suggests that many more nursing posts may already have been earmarked for cuts (Frontline First: November 2011 update, Royal College of Nursing). The RCN analysis identified 5,000 nursing posts at risk, comprising both qualified nurses and healthcare assistants. Here we assume that half (2,500) of these 5,000 posts are qualified nurses. Added to the number already lost, that would take the overall total to over 6,000 nurses lost.

Photo: AP

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