£14.1m pay offs for NHS bosses
GOLDEN handshakes worth more than £14million have been paid out to health chiefs in East Anglia as the cash-strapped NHS grapples with massive debts.The figures, which emerged in the annual report of the East of England Strategic Health Authority (SHA) has sparked concern from health campaigners.
GOLDEN handshakes worth more than £14million have been paid out to health chiefs in East Anglia as the cash-strapped NHS grapples with massive debts.
The document also reveals some existing directors have received what appear to be significant pay rises during an NHS shake-up.
It has seen one director's salary nearly double to around £120,000 as his role changed with the formation of the new six-county organisation, the report shows.
The new East of England SHA was formed on July 1 last year from the merger of the three authorities covering Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire, Essex, and Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire.
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Its aim was to save management costs but, while the streamlining hopes to save £25m a year, it appears to have come at an initial heavy price.
Senior managers from the merged health authorities have received an estimated £14.1m in pay-offs - although no information is available about how many people are involved.
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The redundancy packages mean the management costs rose to £30.5m in 2006/07, compared to £15.7m the year before.
A spokesman for the East of England SHA said: “The management costs for the SHA in 2006-07 are higher than the previous year due to the one-off cost of redundancies as a result of the restructure.
“These costs include additional payments into the NHS pension fund. All the redundancy benefits were in line with the national NHS redundancy scheme.
“The full anticipated savings of £25m per year are expected to be realised from April 2008 onwards.
“The savings being made as a result of the reduction in management and administrative costs are being redirected into patient care by investing in bowel and breast cancer screening and palliative care services through the local NHS.”