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GPs buried under trusts' workload dump

RCGP to make eight staff redundant under cost-cutting drive

Exclusive The RCGP has revealed that it will make at least eight staff redundant under its cost-cutting drive, and that the college’s financial situation remains ‘under review’ as it begins to make mortgage repayments on its new headquarters in 30 Euston Square.

The college will also consult staff about making a further eight posts redundant, while a recruitment freeze will continue until further notice.

RCGP chief executive Neil Hunt said that ‘unexpected pressures’ on its budget meant it had to restructure its finances to reduce costs and admitted for the first time that the start of mortgage repayments on its new headquarters was a factor in the decision to restructure its finances.

He also said that income projections would ‘inevitably fluctuate’ and that the college had been badly affected by the current economic climate.

Pulse revealed last month that the college was planning to save £620,000 a year, by merging some college functions and was consulting on making several senior staff redundant. The RCGP announced last week it had struck a deal to rent out a section of its new headquarters in central London to the College of Social Work.

The first eight redundancies amount to 3% of the RCGP’s 271 staff, and the college said it will also create a further four posts as part of the restructure.

Among other decisions to be announced today, the college said that:

- the Education, Quality and Research directorate will close and a new directorate of Postgraduate Training and Standards will be created

- all CPD activities will be moved into the Development and Enterprises directorate

- there will be a review of the college’s ICT and digital delivery

- the current recruitment freeze will continue until early July but will be kept under review.

In a statement released to Pulse, the college said: ‘The RCGP regrets having to make the posts of any of its staff redundant and thanks all of those staff affected by the decisions, announced today, for their crucial work during their time with the organisation.’

RCGP chief executive Neil Hunt said: ‘The decisions confirmed today will ensure that we significantly reduce our costs and also help us ensure that the college is prepared for the new era that we and our members face.

‘I regret the fact that we are making the posts of a number of our valued colleagues redundant and I wish to thank them for all their excellent work.

‘I would hope that we are not put in a situation where we have to make redundancies of this scale due to unexpected pressures on our budget again.

‘However, we will have to keep the situation under review as going forward we will need to continue to make our mortgage repayments on 30 Euston Square, income projections will inevitably fluctuate and the economy may continue to be troubled.’

Readers' comments (11)

  • "Unexpected pressures"? I think if I'd taken out a multi-million pound mortgage I might have made sure I could make the repayments. How much longer will today's trainees pay for yesterday's incompetence?

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  • I hope the people who made the financial decisions are the first people to be made redundant!
    No?. What a surprise!

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  • The Staff and their families are paying the ultimate price for the incompetence of the leadership. Do those who made incompetent financial decisions going home along with the ones who will be fired?

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  • Why is the College blaming the economy? Membership continues to grow at over 2,000+ trainees per year who get charged unavoidable, outrageous fees. Other Colleges have been stagnant for years and envy our growth but they have wisely maintained realistic and modest plans, focussing on quality rather than quantity. The College's incompetence is an embarrassment on the whole profession.

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  • It's not as though costs appear overnight. This must have been allowed to build up. The Treasurer was clearly napping. Time to do the honourable thing? Thought not ...

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  • The Education, Quality and Research directorate was established less than a year ago at significant cost under the Chief Executive's review. It is now being disbanded. Great planning. What have you got up your sleeve for next month?

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  • RCGP council is clearly not up to the job of managing the College's affair. There is an absence of good governance at the Heart of the RCGP. They just dole out honorary roles and expenses to themselves and line their families' pockets with membership and examination fees. RCGP Council makes Parliament and MPs look transparent and accountable.

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  • The Chairman of Trustees employs his wife through the Edinburgh office as a highly paid freelancer and the service has never been competitively tendered. I bet she isn't being made redundant or being declared as a conflict of interest...

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  • This is a complete lack of basic financial planning and control. The Finance Director, Treasurer and Chief Executive must be held to account by Council.

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  • Oh well, at least we have the biggest and newest London-centric HQ, even if we can't afford to fill it with our own staff to deliver services to help us improve patient care. We know what counts!

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