The bill for redundancies following the shutting of two commissioning support units reached more than £6m, HSJ can reveal.

A total of 142 people – more than one in 10 staff – were given severance deals from Yorkshire and Humber CSU and North West CSU, which were closed in March.

Figures from NHS England show a total of £6.2m was spent on payouts, with the costs borne by clinical commissioning groups and NHS England. NHS England said it was “unable to confirm” the amount of redundancy costs that fell on CCGs.

Five unnamed senior managers received £1m between them, with the highest award of £291,000 to an executive from North West CSU.

Nearly 1,450 staff transferred to other organisations following the break-up of the CSUs, which both failed to gain accreditation to join the lead provider framework.

NHS England claims the changes will save money on back office support and improve services provided.

Eighty-eight people from Yorkshire and Humber CSU were given exit deals costing £3.3m and 788 transferred. Another 655 transferred to new providers from North West CSU and 54 staff departed at a cost of £2.9m.

In the North West, services for 12 CCGs in Cheshire and Merseyside and three NHS trusts transferred to the Midlands and Lancashire CSU. Services for the 12 CCGs in Greater Manchester moved Greater Manchester Shared Services.

In Yorkshire, nearly 300 staff transferred to the eMBED consortium led by Kier in partnership with Dr Foster, BDO and Engine, which won a £62m four-year contract to provide services to the region’s 23 CCGs and NHS England. Other organisations now providing services in the area include North East Commissioning Support and at least one local council.

Commissioners on both sides of the Pennines also used the shake-up to bring significant numbers of staff in-house.

Some services paid for by NHS England were also affected by the changes – which came only three years after the CSUs were set up.

Papers from a number of CCGs show the switchover caused significant upheaval as they moved to different processes and developed new relationships with providers.

A report to the two Bradford CCGs this month said: “There have been a number of challenges in moving to the new arrangements that have been resolved and some that we are still working through but hope in the new few months to move to a business as usual arrangement.”

In a statement, NHS England said: “When both CSUs failed to meet the quality standards to be accredited for the lead provider framework, GP led CCGs procured these changes to their back office support to save costs and obtain improved services.

“Even taking account of transition costs, the changes are part of their wider substantial net cuts in back office running costs.”

A spokesman for eMBED said it had already implemented some “key operational improvements” in its support services to CCGs in Yorkshire and Humber.

He added: “The focus to date has been on the delivery of core services and this is now progressing to value added activities including the development of a regional strategy which will give the CCGs a greater capacity to deal strategically with future challenges and requirements.”