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Managers at Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust given 'golden goodbyes'
TEN NHS managers at a Hampshire hospital trust were given “golden-goodbyes” exceeding £100,000 after their positions were axed.
Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (HHFT), which took over the running of Winchester’s Royal Hampshire County Hospital 12 months ago, has so far forked out £4.1million in redundancy payments to about 85 staff, including five senior nurse managers with years of experience.
Anti-tax campaigners have warned that the “huge” redundancy payments could undermine the long-term savings reorganisation was supposed to achieve.
But David French, financial director of HHFT, said the job cuts would save £3.5m in 2012-13 and slightly more in future years.
The trust, which now includes Basingstoke, Winchester and Andover hospitals, spent £3.5m on pay-offs to 73 staff in 2011-12, including 33 senior managers and 33 people in administration and clerical.
Nine staff received six-figure sums between £100,000 and £150,000 with one individual’s redundancy pay-off topping £150,000.
A further 19 staff were handed between £50,000 and £100,000.
In addition, pay-offs totalling £600,000 have been agreed for 12 staff this financial year to date, with the prospect of more redundancy payouts to come.
Mr French said the redundancies had been “uncomfortable” for everyone involved, and especially for individuals who had lost their jobs.
He added the trust wants to avoid redundancies, if possible, as they are “expensive”, but he did not rule out more job losses as other services face reorganisation.
Most of the job cuts were in finance, human resources, IT, legal services, managerial and administration functions – and not frontline doctors and nurses – as a result of merging two trusts.
Under NHS terms and conditions, staff who have been made redundant are entitled to one month’s pay for every year they have worked. Payments are capped at two years’ salary.
The trust said departing staff were divided across Basingstoke and Winchester hospital sites, and most were compulsory redundancies.
Basingstoke and North Hampshire NHS Foundation Trust acquired Winchester and Eastleigh Healthcare Trust (WEHCT) in January 2012.
The expanded organisation, which has a budget of £300m and 5,000 staff, was then renamed Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
Commenting on the scale of the redundancy pay-offs, Matthew Sinclair, chief executive of the Taxpayers’ Alliance, said: “It’s important that the public sector pay bill is trimmed to ease the pressure on taxpayers, and redundancy payments are a necessary part of that process.
“But with 30 staff at just one NHS trust in Hampshire receiving packages of £50,000 or more, it shows that the guidelines for drawing up these contracts are outdated and in need of drastic reform.
“It’s crucial that the huge redundancy payments don’t undermine the long-term savings the trust is meant to create.”
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