NHS trust re­hires bosses it gave al­most £1m in pay-offs

The Daily Telegraph - - News - By Ly­dia Willgress

AN AM­BU­LANCE trust has been crit­i­cised over its de­ci­sion to al­legedly re­hire six se­nior man­agers af­ter spend­ing £922,984 mak­ing them re­dun­dant.

The East of Eng­land Am­bu­lance Ser­vice NHS Trust is said to have paid an av­er­age of more than £150,000 in re­dun­dancy to each of the staff, a Free­dom of In­for­ma­tion re­quest showed.

One para­medic is be­lieved to have re­turned to help pre­pare stu­dent paramedics in case of staff short­ages. His es­ti­mated £50,000 salary is un­der­stood not to have changed al­though he is now em­ployed via an agency. The oth­ers who were re­hired have been done so on a ca­sual ba­sis or via out­side firms. A for­mer worker told the Sun­day

Peo­ple the pay­ments were a “crazy waste of money” and went on to claim: “Some­body sanc­tioned these re­dun­dancy pay­ments even though they knew this per­son [the para­medic] would be needed for staff train­ing.”

Dia Chakravarty, po­lit­i­cal di­rec­tor at The Tax­Pay­ers’ Al­liance, said: “It is ab­so­lutely lu­di­crous that tax­pay­ers pick up the tab for gen­er­ous re­dun­dancy pack­ages only to see those who have been let go re­hired soon af­ter.”

The De­part­ment for Com­mu­ni­ties and Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment has pre­vi­ously pledged to cap “exit pay­ments” for pub­lic sec­tor work­ers at £95,000. The cap is set to be in­tro­duced by the au­tumn.

A trust spokesman said re­struc­tur­ing in 2014 and 2015 in­cluded “re­duc­ing spend on agency and in­terim staff, and re­struc­tur­ing of sup­port ser­vices and lead­er­ship ar­range­ments”.

They added: “[This] led to a num­ber of re­dun­dan­cies to rein­vest about £10 mil­lion sav­ings in on­go­ing pay costs into front­line ser­vices.”

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