Letter: New jobs for old NHS chiefs

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Sir: I see that we, the taxpayers, can expect a bill approaching pounds lm for buying surplus senior NHS executives out of their contracts. Surely there is a better way.

One possibility is some form of training, to equip them to do a better managerial job in future in the NHS. Ideally I would suggest they work out their contracts as hospital porters - a post from which they will see the realities of the NHS with new eyes. Sadly, they would probably argue that this constitutes constructive dismissal.

Alternatively, they should be formed into a committee with the remit of negotiating for people in their position to leave the NHS with no more than six months' pay in lieu of notice. They would be dealing with their peers, and could hardly deny that this is a challenging task. It should be clearly understood that failure to reach such an agreement within three months would be indicative of incompetence to hold office at their level, and render them liable for dismissal without notice.

Dr. A M Hulme

Sutton Coldfield,

West Midlands