17th April 2012
Southampton's Labour MPs today revealed the hidden costs of redundancy pay-outs in Southampton arising from David Cameron's NHS re-organisation.
The new figures come as a leaked report from the Department of Health confirms the full costs of the reorganisation at over £3 billion.
New, official figures list the costs of NHS redundancies in every community during the first year of the Tory-led Government's NHS re-organisation. Figures reveal that Southampton's NHS has already been forced to spend £501,000 laying off staff - only for many expected to be re-employed elsewhere in the system. And this is just the first phase of redundancies - further damaging figures are expected in the summer.
The new figures come as a leaked Government 'business case' for its Health Bill confirms the vast overall costs of the Government’s NHS reorganisation. It confirms that almost £16million in Southampton is being held back from NHS patient care to pay for the reorganisation, in the form of a Government-ordered 2 per cent Primary Care Trust budget hold back in 2011-12 and 2012-13 - amounting to £3.45bn across England.
John Denham, Labour MP for Southampton Itchen, said:
“People need to know why over half a million pounds is being wasted on an NHS reorganisation no one wants. It is madness that such a huge sum of money is going to be spent on payouts for staff only for them to be redeployed elsewhere.
“David Cameron and the Conservative-led Government are taking away billions of pounds from patient care to pay for this NHS reorganisation.
“Only last month, residents united at a ‘Drop the Bill’ meeting in Southampton to demand the Government listen to professional opinion and public outcry over its plans. Instead Cameron went ahead, which goes to show his arrogance on the issue of the NHS”.
Alan Whitehead, Labour MP for Southampton Test, said:
“Local surgeries are already feeling the pinch from the Tories’ spending plans. Now we know that an additional half a million pounds is being spent laying off and re-employing NHS staff as part of Andrew Lansley’s NHS reorganisation scheme. It’s the wrong priority for the NHS at the worst possible time.”
Andy Burnham MP, Labour's Shadow Health Secretary, said:
"It is nothing short of scandalous that the Prime Minister is wasting billions on a unnecessary re-organisation whilst also cutting 4,000 nurses' jobs.
"In Opposition, David Cameron promised no top-down re-organisation of the NHS. In office, he brought forward the biggest ever. Cameron is an NHS con-man and we will hold him to account for his betrayal of patients and staff.
"He has inflicted chaos on the NHS and patients are paying the price in longer waits and a growing postcode lottery.
"The argument in Westminster may be over but Labour is taking the battle for the NHS to every town, street and doorstep. We will be, as we have always been, the last line of defence for the NHS in your community. A vote for Labour in May is a positive vote for the NHS."
The total cost of NHS re-organisation in Southampton is £15,877,924.
In response to a Parliamentary Question, the Government revealed that the NHS has spent £169 million on making staff redundant in the year 2010-11. (Hansard, 20 Feb 2012 : Column 713W)
The table below provides a breakdown by Primary Care Trust of the cost of redundancies and the reorganisation as a whole.
Leaked Business Case says: “SHAs and PCTs are expected to fund their redundancy and other transition costs from local funding arrangements within the 2% headroom for non-recurrent spend, accumulated reserves, and further savings identified from the budget bundle. The 2% is worth approximately £1.6bn. The costs are therefore funded from within SHA and PCT allocations, and this is recognised in current NHS plans. The 2012-13 arrangements will be finalised with the NHS operating framework...” (p.29-30) http://library.constantcontact.com/download/get/file/1102665899193-913/Transition-business-case.pdf
The 2% was worth £1.7bn in 2011-12. The 2012-13 Operating Framework subsequently confirmed a further 2% would be held back to fund “organisational and system change”, amounting to a further £1.7bn (“the requirement for all PCTs to set aside 2 per cent of their recurrent funding for non-recurrent expenditure purposes only will continue” – para 4.8)
Since the election over 4,000 nursing posts have been cut in the NHS:
The latest monthly NHS Hospital and Community Health Service (HCHS) Workforce Statistics in England, published by the NHS Information Centre show that the NHS has lost 4,096 nurses since the election. In May 2010 there were 281,431 Full Time Equivalent (FTE) qualified nurses working in the NHS. In December 2011, this figure had fallen to 277,334. The figure refers to the change in ‘Qualified nursing, midwifery & health visiting staff’ net of changes in the numbers of midwives, health visitors and school nurses. http://www.ic.nhs.uk/statistics-and-data-collections/workforce/nhs-staff-numbers/monthly-nhs-hospital-and-community-health-service-hchs-workforce-statistics-in-england--december-2011-provisional-experimental-statistics
Recent research by the Royal College of Nursing suggests that many more nursing posts may already have been earmarked for cuts (Frontline First: November 2011 update, Royal College of Nursing). The RCN analysis identified 5,000 nursing posts at risk, comprising both qualified nurses and healthcare assistants. Here we assume that half (2,500) of these 5,000 posts are qualified nurses. Added to the number already lost, that would take the overall total to over 6,000 nurses lost.
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