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MPs clash over NHS Wirral redundancy costs
THE Government has come under fire for “wasting” more than £2m on laying off NHS staff in Wirral.
Wallasey MP Angela Eagle said that forcing Wirral Primary Care Trust to spend so much on redundancies was a “disgrace” and patient care could suffer as a result.
Her comments come after a leaked report from the Department of Health showed the full costs of the re-organisation to be more than £3bn.
Ms Eagle said: “These figures are truly shocking.
“The full cost of this Tory Government’s disastrous top down reorganisation of our NHS is laid bare. “It is a disgrace Wirral PCT have been forced to waste £2.26m laying off staff, only for many to be re-employed in new NHS organisations.
“This is only the first wave of redundancies - more are expected later this year and next as part of the Government’s reckless NHS re-organisation that will cost nearly £25m in our area alone.
“Across the country, and here in Wallasey, this disastrous top down reorganisation is wasting millions of pounds while also drastically cutting the number of nurses.
“David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Andrew Lansley are pushing ahead with a disastrous re-organisation that nobody wants, taking millions away from NHS front-line services and putting patient care at risk.”
However Wirral West Conservative MP Esther McVey said costs have been kept to a minimum and that more cash would be put into frontline services.
Ms McVey said: “Inevitably when there is a change there is cost attributable to that and it is essential we keep that cost to a minimum which has been done.
"Leading on from this the NHS reforms will save £4.5bn over the rest of this Parliament and £1.5bn a year to 2020, which will all be put into front line services with all the benefits that will bring to the public and the NHS.
“It is clear that other parties would be cutting the budget where we in the Conservative Party are the only party that has pledged to increase spend in the NHS.
“Many of these changes may never have been necessary if the previous Labour Government had not wasted £12bn on a computer system that never worked, that alone would have paid the salaries of 60,000 nurses for a decade.
“Labour also left the Government a £60bn bill for the NHS from PFI, and under Labour consultancy costs of £314m spiralled out of control and completely overshadows the redundancy costs."
NHS Wirral issued a brief statement to confirm the cost of redundancies.
A spokesman said: “Since 2009, the government has required PCTs to reduce management costs by 45% as part of the challenge to reduce running costs and release savings for patient care.
"NHS Wirral has had a programme of voluntary measures in place to achieve this reduction, resulting in severance payments of £2.26M in 2010/11 and £802k in 2011/12.”