Nine months after the last Primary Care Trust and Strategic Health Authority closed down in England the ministry is stalling on releasing the names of people who have walked off with payments of anything between £100,000 and £600,000 plus.
A report by me and Frederica Whitehead in Exaro News shows that 44 very senior people – chief executives or directors – have received £12.2m in redundancy payments- an average of £277,000 each.
The National Audit Office said in a report in July on NHS reforms that the payments went to board-level managers in strategic health authorities (SHAs) and chief executives of primary care trusts (PCTs).
According to the NAO, 10 SHAs and 151 PCTs were scrapped in March under Hunt’s reforms to the National Health Service, and new commissioning bodies created.
They are released as a result of the assiduous work of Conservative MP, Stephen Barclay, a member of the Commons Public Accounts Committee, who quite rightly pursues whether taxpayers money is being spent properly.
But the ministry is refusing the publish details of the remaining 21 – saying it is up to those who received the largesse to decide whether they should be named and the payments revealed.
Mr Barclay rightly thinks this is unacceptable – in any big company or in Whitehall – these figures for senior people would be published as part of an annual report.
I agree. At a time of big pay restraint, shortage of money for services in the NHS, is it right that say in the North of England some £3m should be set aside for redundancy and early retirement of just 12 individuals?
Again a two tier system is in operation and the ministry is aiding and abetting it by allowing those in receipts of large sums of taxpayers money to escape being held to account.