NHS Improvement’s provider leadership committee approved nine compulsory redundancies at senior level over nine months in 2016-17, documents obtained by HSJ reveal.

The committee approves appointments and sackings at trusts, and makes recommendations to ministers on matters such as managers returning to work as consultants after retiring or whether managers can be paid more than the prime minister.

The regulator released committee documents from the last three quarters of 2016-17 after a freedom of information request. These revealed:

  • Nine “non-contractual severances” over this period.
  • An age discrimination claim that the NHS lost.
  • Seven off-payroll board arrangements.
  • The tenure and remaining terms of trust and foundation trust chairs, plus whether there was “activity coming up” and information showing the pay ranges at different trusts.
  • Nineteen “contractual severances”.
  • Eleven departures under the mutually agreed resignation scheme.
  • Five London trusts have no black and minority ethnic non-executive directors.
  • Increased salaries for the top team at Western Sussex Foundation Trust for taking over the leadership of Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals Trust.
  • Two trust chairs agreeing £15,000 bonuses for taking on difficult jobs (see below).
  • A chief executive role was removed at one trust where a merger is planned.

HSJ subscribers can download the papers from the “related files” below.

The papers refer to the new chair of Barts Health Trust being on a £15,000 bonus for a two year fixed term contract “linked to the achievement of strategic objectives set and measured by NHS Improvement”. The total pay package has increased from £45,000 to £60,000.

At North Middlesex University Hospital Trust “an additional £15,000 [was] approved for fixed term of new chair [totalling £45,000] after which it will revert to £30,000”, the papers said.

An annex to the papers mentioned a pay increase for the management team of Western Sussex Hospitals when they took on management of Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals Trust last month.

On the takeover by Greater Manchester Mental Health Trust of Manchester Mental Health and Social Care Trust, the document refers to “£250,000 saved in redundancy avoidance following assistance from [redacted]”.

It also refers to the chief executive post at Southend University Hospital Foundation Trust being made redundant as the group model involving it, Mid Essex Hospitals Services Trust and Basildon and Thurrock University Hospital Foundation Trust proceeds.

Managers in Partnership chief executive Jon Restell said the system needed to do more to help senior managers who had lost their jobs after mergers.

He said: “Hospital mergers – and the creation of single management teams in CCGs – will create compulsory redundancies at board level. MiP believes national leadership bodies should become better at structured redeployment across the system. Many members, particularly younger chief executives and directors, want to continue with careers in the NHS but find system attitudes have not moved on from earlier reorganisations.

“A more proactive, supportive approach would save money and retain skills in an area of staff shortage.”

The papers also confirmed that new senior appointments had been suspended until after the general election, on the advice of the Cabinet Office.