Figures being used by the Department of Health to estimate the cost of NHS redundancies have been dismissed as “wishful thinking.”

Health minister Simon Burns last week stated it was “reasonable to assume” the average cost of a manager or senior manager being made redundant was £90,000.

However, human resources consultant David Amos, a former cabinet office senior policy advisor and Department of Health deputy human resources director, said the figure sounded like “wishful thinking”.

He said: “On a management salary of £45,000 I suppose you can get to £90,000, but if you take into account deputy directors or directors on £80,000 up to £150,000, there’s no way it’s enough.”

The figure, provided in answer to a parliamentary question from shadow health minister Liz Kendall, was calculated by multiplying average earnings by one and a half.

The average senior manager takes home £59,400, while the average manager receives £44,700. However, many chief executives earn between £150,000 and £200,000.

Managers received redundancy payments of up to £1m during the last NHS major shake-up, launched in 2005, and the average senior manager redundancy package was in excess of £350,000.

The DH is yet to publish any estimate of the likely total cost of redundancies created by the abolition of primary care trusts and strategic health authorities.

A national HR framework is being drawn up by NHS East of England chief executive Neil McKay, expected by the end of November. This is due to set out more details about staff transferring from PCTs to GP led consortia.