Golden goodbyes for hundreds of NHS staff in the West Midlands axed in a major shake-up of health services have cost nearly £14 million, it has been revealed.
And 31 staff at the abolished health trusts walked away with pay-offs in excess of £100,000 – with seven of them getting more than £200,000, according to final annual accounts.
The former Primary Care Trusts for Wolverhampton, Sandwell, Dudley, Walsall and Staffordshire and the Strategic Health Authority covering the West Midlands made 271 people redundant in 2012/13.
Responsibility for health care outside of hospitals is now in the hands of groups of GPs. The Government expects to save billions with its re-organisation of the NHS, which includes axing layers of management and bureaucracy.
But the cost of the scheme, and the radical overhaul of the NHS, has been criticised by the Labour party. Individuals who were paid in excess of £100,000 each have not been named.
But they show that one person employed by the former Walsall PCT received an ‘exit package’ worth £299,641 for being made compulsorily redundant. That member of staff was among 36 redundancies, three of which were more than £150,000 and one more than £100,000.
Another at Dudley PCT left with £271,729 while one member of staff left under an ‘agreed departure’ with £204,755. There, 55 staff lost their jobs including three who went with between £100,000 and £150,000 each.
Four West Midlands staff from the former Midlands and East Strategic Health Authority took compulsory redundancy with exit packages worth more than £200,000 each, costing £1,005,000 between them.
A further seven got more than £100,000 out of 23 staff being axed.
Sandwell’s PCT made 88 staff redundant in total, costing £3,715,969.
Two of those left voluntarily with more than £150,000 each and another five got more than £100,000 each.
There were 57 redundancies at Wolverhampton City PCT, one of which received £170,000 and two who shared £240,000 between them.
Twelve staff left South Staffordshire PCT but all were given packages lower than £100,000. Eight of them received at least £50,000 when their jobs disappeared.
Valerie Vaz, Labour MP for Walsall South, and a member of the Commons Health Select Committee, criticised the government for its major re-organisation of the NHS.
She said: “The pay-offs are a direct result of the NHS re-organisation which was never in any manifesto and was not planned by any political party.”
The Department of Health says that nationally the changes will save the taxpayer £5.5bn.