EDP – Graphic: Shock over mental health trust’s £5m redundancy bill

If ever there was a time to reward great journalism with a physical newspaper purchase, today is it – and the double page spread graphic exposure of NSFTCrisis is brilliant – frame-it-on-the-wall good. Award-winning Adam Gretton in the EDP reports:

“The mental health trust for Norfolk and Suffolk, which is trying to fill hundreds of vacancies, spent more than £5m on redundancy payments last year, it has emerged.”

“Emma Corlett, Unison spokesperson and mental health nurse said: “These redundancy figures are shocking, but sadly not surprising. Unison warned senior management in September that there was no genuine redundancy situation, yet the NSFT board ploughed on with voluntary redundancies at huge expense.”

“The loss of experience and expertise of the staff they have paid millions to leave is immeasurable. We need these staff more than ever in the current crisis. What is most staggering is that no one has taken responsibility. Had a frontline clinician made such a significant error in their work, they would not expect to keep their job.”

“Jane Marshall-Robb, director of workforce and organisation development at NSFT, said it was difficult to forecast how much to budget for redundancies because pay-outs varied depending on a worker’s average salary, length of service and pension options. She added that individuals were granted voluntary redundancy in a bid to minimise the number of compulsory redundancies.”

“In line with the trust’s service strategy and in the context of the wider financial environment, changes to the organisation structure and roles have been planned, consulted on, and implemented. This has meant that the trust has had to reduce post numbers in some areas, in a timely manner, rather than waiting to see whether natural turnover may take place in the necessary areas. Although these post reductions have been offset by vacancies and redeployments where possible, a number of redundancies have nevertheless taken place.”

“The cost of each redundancy is calculated according to nationally-agreed rules – according to length of service, salary, additional payments, and whether the person is able to take a pension option.”

“The trust offered redeployment opportunities to individuals on voluntary and compulsory redundancy pathways but, given the geographical spread of the trust and the positions offered, many of these were not deemed as suitable alternative employment,” she said.

The redundancy programme has been a complete fiasco and is a catastrophe for mental health services. Whatever Marshall-Robb claims, redundancy programmes are one of the few business processes that competent managers have complete control over. Experienced and highly-trained staff are still being paid to leave important jobs this month – some community teams will see one-quarter of staff take voluntary redundancy. Still nobody takes responsibility despite the millions of pounds wasted and lives and services placed at risk.

Click on the brilliant and illuminating EDP graphic to read more on the EDP website:



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