NHS England has published details of a voluntary redundancy scheme, which has been launched in an effort to cut its headcount by up to 40 per cent and help “minimise any need for compulsory redundancy”.
Details seen by HSJ say the scheme is driven by three principles.
These are the need to remove ”roles which will not be required in the future”, the reduction of ”duplication and overlap” and the desire to employ ”fewer senior managers” in “some areas”.
This first round of the voluntary redundancy scheme will not be open to all NHSE employees.
Those covered by the initial phase include senior managers “in some areas of the business, where the work on designs suggest the need to reduce the number of senior roles”.
It is also open to staff working in the agency’s new transformation directorate, some of whom previously worked for NHSX or NHS Digital. However, the scheme is not open to those with “specialist technical skills that are difficult to recruit and retain”.
Staff working within the new workforce training and education directorate at a national and regional level, including many who are transferring from Health Education England, will be eligible to apply for the scheme. From these areas, only ”educators” are excluded.
The scheme will also apply to:
- The finance, commercial and strategy directorates, “including the communications functions”;
- Some departments in the delivery directorate, “including human resources and corporate operations, estates, privacy transparency ethics and legal, board secretariat and systems transformation and provider development.”
Finally, the scheme will be used within the agency’s “national programmes”, at both central and regional levels.
The scheme will run until 8 February.
In July NHSE announced it was seeking to cut around 6,000 posts from a workforce swollen by staff transferring from HEE, NHSD and NHSX. However, many in the government and some NHSE senior figures expect the cuts to go deeper.
Chancellor Jeremy Hunt and health secretary Steve Barclay have commissioned former Labour health secretary Patricia Hewitt to review the relationship between NHSE and integrated systems. The terms of her review asked to consider what functions carried out by NHSE could be ceased or devolved to ICSs.
HSJ revealed last year that NHSE staff were set to “know their future” by September 2023.