£168m spent on NHS redundancies, according to leaked Government figures

 

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Nearly £170 million was spent on NHS redundancy payouts in one year, according to leaked Government figures released by the Labour Party today.

The Department of Health figures show that £168.7 million was spent on laying off NHS staff in England in 2010/11.

Labour leader Ed Miliband said the figures were "very, very worrying" and showed the coalition's NHS reforms were "the wrong reorganisation at the wrong time."

The Opposition leader said he was worried about patient care "slipping backwards" as a result of the costs of the coalition's reforms.

Speaking on a visit to the Market Surgery GP's practice in Wath upon Dearne, South Yorkshire, Mr Miliband said he was concerned over the almost £24.5 million spent on redundancies in Yorkshire alone.

He said: "The figures show the extraordinary sums of money that are being spent on this bureaucratic reorganisation of the NHS.

"In Yorkshire alone, £24 million is being spent on redundancies; hundreds of millions of pounds is being spent on the reorganisation. This is not what we need.

"We need money going into patient care, not into reorganising the deck chairs. That's one of the problems with this Government's reorganisation of the NHS.

"We are seeing nurses being lost in the NHS, breaking David Cameron's promise to protect the frontline, it's very, very worrying, it shows how the Government is out of touch and it shows we've been right in saying this is the wrong reorganisation at the wrong time."

The figures showed that over £50 million was spent on redundancies in London alone. Nearly £28 million was spent in the North East, just over £24 million in the North West, over £12.5 million in the East Midlands, over £11 million in the South East, just over £8 million in the West Midlands, over £4.5 million in the South West and nearly £4.3 million in the Eastern area of the country.

After meeting local GP Dr David Polkinghorn and the deputy leader of Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council Mahroof Hussain, Mr Miliband said: "It (the reorganisation) could have been done by adapting the existing structures - it didn't need this throwing everything in the air - a Bill three times longer than the Bill that originally founded the NHS.

"I have heard today about some of the concerns around privatisation and fragmentation of the NHS as a result of what the Government is proposing as well.

"These aren't good reforms for the NHS, I'm worried that patient care is slipping backwards, I'm worried that money isn't going into the frontline at a time when NHS resources are incredibly tight."

The figures reflect the first phase of redundancies and further data is expected in the summer, according to Labour.

PA

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