NHS claims generous pension arrangements are the reason for £80m redundancy costs

The NHS has blamed generous pension arrangements for the £80m cost of making less than 800 people redundant in last year’s shake-up of strategic health authorities (SHA).

It spent £82.9m slashing 764 jobs as it slashed the number of SHAs – which co-ordinate care and deliver government health policy – from 28 to 10 to cut red tape.

The average senior manager redundancy package was in excess of £350,000, the BBC learned through the Freedom of Information Act.

An NHS Employers spokesperson said: “The payments are on such a scale because, historically, people who were made redundant were eligible to have their pensions paid early and topped up by up to 10 years’ service if they were over 50 years old.

“We have recently introduced new redundancy arrangements in line with the new age discrimination legislation, which will end redundancy retirements with topping up of service, are fairer for staff, and will be more affordable for employers.”

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