The Department of Health has been accused of “spending money like confetti” on NHS redundancy payments.
Figures reveal redundancy payoffs amounted to nearly £2bn during the Government’s restructuring programme over the last five years.
More than 5,500 people who were made redundant since 2010 have been re-employed elsewhere in the NHS, despite some receiving severance payments of more than £200,000.
Since the shake-up, redundancies have cost £1.8bn for more than 44,000 lay-offs and in 2014-15 alone some £220m was spent on payoffs for staff.
Shadow health secretary Andy Burnham told Sky News: “Today the figures hit a new high – £1.8bn wasted.
And what are doctors to make of this? No wonder morale in the NHS is at rock bottom.”
He added: “This was a reorganisation that didn’t need to happen.
“They’ve thrown money at redundancies, given people payoff cheques like confetti at the NHS at a time when we’re not doing right by the staff of the National Health Service.”
The Government has pledged to cap public sector redundancy payments at £95,000 – but the figures show, in the last five years, over 3,000 staff received more than £100,000.
Of those, 475 received amounts above £200,000. All this came while nurses were experiencing either a pay freeze or a below inflation pay cap of 1%.
The Government argues that the controversial restructuring has saved more money than expected and helped reduce bureaucracy by a third, allowing them to employ more frontline staff.