• More than 600 posts to go as NHS England and Improvement announce results of consultation
  • Consultation document says 275 posts likely to be made redundant
  • News prompted by demands to reduce administration costs by £95.6m

NHS England and NHS Improvement will shed 654 posts under cost reduction plans revealed this morning.

A consultation document published by the two national regulators said the baseline for posts from band two to band nine would drop to 9,355 from 10,010 as part of the organisations’ requirement to cut £95.6m from their costs.

However, vacancies mean just 275 people would be made redundant.

The document said: “Although there is a high vacancy factor which mitigates in part the need for redundancies, we still estimate there may be approximately 275 posts made redundant, because the vacancy profile is unlikely to align completely with geography, posts and people”.

The plan estimates the number of whole-time equivalent band nine posts, where salaries range from £90,000 to £104,000, would be reduced by 66. The new structure would have 531 staff employed at this band, an 11 per cent reduction.

Staff have been preparing for significant job losses since the announcement of NHS England’s and Improvement’s plans to work closer together in 2018.

NHSI chief executive Ian Dalton announced his departure in March 2019 and NHSE’s Simon Stevens became the “leader” of both organisations. A single executive group has since been established, but the two organisations still retain separate chairs.

The process of confirming or finding posts for “at risk” staff who remain with the joined up organisation is expected to begin when the consultation period for the redundancies is completed on 14 October.

The document summarised consultation responses already received. One said: “The challenge has been that for most functions additional staffing to support activity in seven different regions would increase, whereas we have a 20 per cent cost reduction pressure.”