Shake-up of health staff to cost £5.5m

Moves to get rid of almost 150 health workers across the Black Country will cost £5.5million it emerged today.

Hospital bed credit PA

Staff at the Black Country Cluster of Primary Care Trusts, which runs GP surgeries and manages public health, are being allowed to leave as part of a shake up of NHS services.

Health bosses said workers who are leaving are not in frontline posts but many have worked for the NHS for years. However they warned more redundancies will be required long term.

A total of 140 workers have been allowed to leave through a scheme called MARS, a mutually agreed resignation scheme which offers staff a chance to agree a departure date on terms which are similar to those they could expect if they were made redundant.

It has been introduced because PCTs will be abolished from April next year, with public health responsibilities being shared across organisations.

Richard Haynes, spokesman for the Black Country cluster of PCTs said it would cost the organisation £5.5million to let the workers go and added: “We would like to thank each and every one of these staff for their contribution to health service improvements over the last few years and wish them well in their futures.

“We anticipate that the MARS scheme will pay for itself through reduced pay costs in less than 18 months, after which the savings will be invested in patient care.

“Even allowing for the number of staff who have left under MARS, we expect that there will have to be a further number of redundancies as we move towards the abolition of the PCTs at the end of March 2013.”

Around 230 of the 1,100 staff at the cluster applied for resignation.

In Staffordshire, a cluster of primary care trusts has been set up to form a joint single board, set up for NHS North Staffordshire, NHS Stoke on Trent and South Staffordshire PCT.