NHS redundancies to cost public £852m

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Indy Politics

Taxpayers face an £852m bill for redundancies as a result of the Government's shake-up of the National Health Service.

The Labour Party leader Ed Miliband, who challenged David Cameron over the figure at Prime Minister's Questions, warned that many of the staff being sacked by strategic health authorities and primary care trusts (PCTs) would be re-employed by the GP commissioning consortiums replacing PCTs.

Mr Miliband said the U-turn over the original reforms would increase the number of statutory organisations in the NHS from 163 to 521, instead of cutting bureaucracy as the Government suggested. "Is this what you meant by a bonfire of the quangos?" Mr Miliband asked.

The Prime Minister insisted the shake-up would save £5bn by cutting bureaucracy. He told Mr Miliband: "What we inherited was a situation where the number of managers was going up four times as fast as the number of nurses. What's happened since we took over? The number of doctors has gone up, the number of bureaucrats has gone down."