• Regulators launch consultation for senior managers over changes to staffing model
  • Hundreds of managers affected, with dozens of posts to be cut
  • No voluntary redundancy scheme

NHS England and NHS Improvement will axe nearly 50 senior manager posts as they combine their structures, according to proposals issued today.

A consultation document issued to both organisations’ staff today revealed whole time equivalent posts for “executive senior managers” would reduce from 373.8 to 325.2.

This would cut the overall cost for this tier from £57m to £51.2m – a 10 per cent reduction.

Within roles labelled as “admin”, a cut of £8m is planned (17 per cent of the ”admin” baseline), while the budget for “programme” roles is due to increase by £2m to £13m (18 per cent). Programme roles are those deemed to be related to particular improvement or change initiatives.

Overall, the two organisations are planning to reduce their “baseline” administration costs by 15 per cent by 2020-21, with changes at more junior levels taking place in 2019-20.

No voluntary redundancy scheme will be offered, because it is “vital for both NHSE and NHSI to minimise the loss of key skills and experience to the NHS”, according to the documents.

It comes after NHSE and NHSI agreed in May to work closer together.

The consultation (see attachment below story) affects senior managers occupying 453 posts – of which 334 posts are in NHSE and 119 posts are in NHSI.

These staff form the management tier below a new “NHS executive group”, which has 20 members comprising Simon Stevens and Ian Dalton (NHSE and NHSI chief executives respectively), seven regional directors, and 11 national “corporate” directors.

The executive senior managers will report to the regional and corporate directors, for which appointments are being made but have not yet been announced.

The new operating model will see 66 per cent of regulators’ senior managers in seven regional teams, compared to 61 per cent in regional and local teams currently.

A document published alongside the consultation said: “Local health systems will be supported by our new integrated regional teams, who will play a major leadership role in the geographies that they manage…

“The regions will be supported by 11 corporate teams, who provide specialist support and expertise to help drive improvement and transformation of local health systems.”

There are more than 80 posts which are being scrapped and for which there is no similar role. This means staff currently holding those posts face applying for other jobs either in the organisations or elsewhere in the NHS.

According to the document, a “significant number” of new roles will be joint appointments with individuals having employment contracts with both NHSE and NHSI.

The consultation does not apply to national clinical directors, clinical reference group chairs, Getting It Right First Time leads, and national clinical leads, for which there is a separate review.

Additionally, there are around 60 current posts which will not change or only have a change of line management or job title. Staff occupying these posts currently are not subject to the consultation.

The consultation will end on 30 December. An “outcomes document” will then be published on 29 January, after which challenges from staff can be made.

The new posts will then be filled from the week of 18 February, to get the new structure in place by April, along with the cost saving of 10 per cent.

Meanwhile, an explainer document, Transforming How We Work, mentions the new teams will implement an “NHS five year delivery plan” – this is expected to be developed after the publication of the NHS long-term plan.

16 November 3.28pm: Updated to remove the “transforming how we work” document at NHSE/NHSI’s request, and to include percentage change in cost categories.


Fifty senior posts cut under regulators’ new joint structure