Hard-pressed NHS trusts paid out more than £5.5 million in payments to staff who have been laid off, according to official figures.
The pay-outs included over £3.2 million for compulsory redundancies, and more than £2.3 million for those who left for other reasons, such as voluntary redundancies, and early retirement. The figures relate to 2011-12, and the Western Daily Press has previously revealed how more than £4million was spent on laying off health managers across the West the previous year.
They were revealed as more than 20 South West NHS Trusts have formed a cartel to opt out of national pay and conditions. The controversial consortium has claimed its plan could save thousands of jobs in the region, but worried health unions fear that setting its own conditions would put them at risk. The figures were published by Health Minister Dan Poulter.
Dr Poulter said the total cost of exit packages in England was over £82 million. The total cost of the payments were £1,264,000 for Gloucestershire, £1,234,000 for Swindon, £1,105,000 for Dorset, £522,000 Herefordshire, £440,000 Bristol, £349,000 North Somerset, £325,000 Devon, £194,000 Wiltshire and £150,000 Somerset.
In 2010-11 at least 164 West health employees were handed exit packages totalling more than £4 million, Freedom of Information requests revealed.