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NHS boss ‘rehired’ after £200,000 payoff

A HEALTH boss was handed a £200,000 redundancy package — only to rejoin the NHS months later.

Ian Stidston was the accountable officer — effectively CEO — of the Southend clinical commissioning group, on a salary of up to £110,000, until April last year. He then joined Thurrock’s clinical commissioning group as interim director of commissioning. The groups are set to merge, prompting concerns over why he received the payment.

Southend has been criticised over the scale of its £7million deficit and was placed in special measures from October 2017 until July this year. Jeremy Hutton, of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: ‘It is unfortunately not uncommon for senior public sector employees to receive eye-watering handouts on being made redundant.

‘What is extraordinary is for that same employee to return to effectively the same organisation.’

The Southend group said the payment was in line with protocols. It said a move to merge three groups ‘has ultimately reduced running costs’. This has meant ‘changes to roles and responsibilities of existing staff and some temporary staffing arrangements’. The group added: ‘This also resulted in redundancies.’

PATIENTS face longer waits for operations this winter as 69 per cent of consultant surgeons cut their NHS hours and 68 per cent consider early retirement to avoid crippling tax payments on their pensions, a Royal College of Surgeons poll says. One doctor described the situation, brought about by NHS pension rules changes in 2016, as a ‘much greater’ threat to the health service than Brexit.