MP brands £4.2m Hull NHS redundancy pay-offs a 'scandalous waste'
CITY MP Diana Johnson has branded the £4m cost of Hull NHS redundancy payments as a "scandalous waste".
Official figures show that since April 2010, Hull's Primary Care Trust (PCT) has paid out £4,198,000 in so-called "exit packages".
It comes as PCTs across England are scrapped to make way for new GP-led commissioning groups under the Government's controversial Health and Social Care Bill.
But it often means highly experienced PCT staff are given pay-offs only to be immediately rehired by a new NHS body.
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Hull North MP Diana Johnson, who obtained the figures by tabling a Written Question at Westminster, said: "A squeezed NHS budget is already putting severe pressure on the quality of frontline NHS services in Hull.
"It's appalling the coalition's unwanted and expensive top-down reorganisation has seen Hull PCT wasting £4.2m on redundancy costs in the past two years.
"With many experienced staff receiving redundancy pay-offs likely to be taken on again in the new GP-led system, the scale of waste involved at the expense of the taxpayer and patients is scandalous."
Responding to Ms Johnson's Written Question, Health Services Minister Dr Daniel Poulter said it had been impossible to "disaggregate the cost of exit packages over £40,000 from the 2011-12 data", so had listed every payment of more than £25,000.
Hull PCT exit packages included compulsory redundancies, early retirement, voluntary redundancies and other departures.
The Government's Health and Social Care Bill finally cleared its tortuous passage through Parliament and became law in March this year.
It followed months of fierce debate at Westminster, and an ongoing battle by Labour, the medical profession and a host of campaigners to force the Government to drop the bill.
The new GP commissioning bodies will be given control of NHS budgets from 2013, allowing them to decide which treatments and services will be provided within their area.
Last year, the Government took the almost unprecedented step of announcing a "pause" in the legislation, to allow for further consultation on the changes.
It was an attempt to neutralise a wave of criticism about the proposed changes, which Labour has pledged to overturn if it wins the next election.