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RCGP consults on making compulsory redundancies to save £600k a year

Exclusive The RCGP is consulting its staff on plans to make compulsory redundancies and remove several senior positions at the college to cut costs, as it tries to save £620,000 a year. 

Pulse has learnt that the college has proposed to make up to 16 compulsory redundancies initially, but is ‘seeking alternative proposals’- including accepting bids for voluntary redundancy - that may reduce the number of redundancies needed.

A further six posts, to be identified in the next few weeks, are also at risk, but it is not known whether compulsory redundancies will be necessary for these posts.

Pulse revealed last week that the RCGP was planning a major restructure, including merging some college functions, getting rid of posts and renting out a floor of its newly refurbished headquarters at 30 Euston Square.

It has now emerged that a consultation on the restructure will run until 3rd May, including an ‘internal staffing restructure’ that will remove 21 posts, including seven heads of departments and one executive director, and replace them with seven new roles.

Council members are being invited to contribute to the consultation, but the final decision will be made by RCGP Board of Trustees.

The news comes a year after the College was forced to back down on restructuring plans - which advocates said would modernise the college and make it into a ‘global brand’- after faculty members felt they would not have sufficient input into its running.

An RCGP spokesperson said: ‘There is the potential for up to 16 compulsory redundancies initially. The College is seeking alternative proposals to minimise the impact on staff, including any proposals for voluntary redundancy which might reduce the number of compulsory redundancies.’

They added: ‘The College is consulting with staff and clinical leads on a number of options. The consultation is due to close on 3 May and we will not be making any further comment at this stage as it is important that our staff and members are informed direct of any decisions that are finally made.’

Dr Sunil Bhanot, an RCGP Council Member and a GP in Berkshire, said the move was ‘sad’, but necessary.

He said: ‘I’ve known many of the staff for years so it’s very difficult. But it is necessary.

‘There’s no question of the college being poorly managed financially. We’ve always been very prudent. The college is taking the necessary steps when all businesses are in similar positions and struggling.’

Dr Bridget Osborne, an RCGP Council Member and a GP in Conwy, North Wales, added: ‘I’m sure the College will act in the best interests of its members and staff.’

Readers' comments (16)

  • A £2.4 million pension deficit and over £1 million per annum repayment on a >£30 million loan. Financially prudent? The fact there are crisis redundancies testifies this is not the case. Bankers are more cautious than RCGP Council Members!

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  • Council Members are being BELATEDLY invited to contribute to the consultation. We knew nothing about this. The executive team, in cahoots with the unelected board of trustees, aimed to ride rough shod over the democratically elected governing Council. Yet another example of the dark arts to which RCGP leadership will stoop in order to get its own way.

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  • Companies normally make redundancies when their business declines. Yet, ironically the RCGP continues to grow. This smacks of poor financial planning and management. Has the Treasurer been asleep on the job?

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  • CLare Gerada and her clan need to go.

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  • the effects of csa injustice are catching up....

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  • Err. It's not the staff who set the CSA standards. Its the examiners. You can get rid of all of the staff and the problem will not go away. Justice?? Staff as well as trainees are been made to pay for GP leadership failure.

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  • no staff (examiners) = no exam . if you don't sort out the problem it spills over and everyone suffers and that's what's happening/will happen now.

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  • The now redundant Executive Director post was a brand new post only 6 months ago at the time of the last restructure. Doesn't exactly fill you with confidence that they've got it right this time! Oh well, there'll be another restructure along in another 6 months and membership fees will be used - again - to fund yet more botched restructures and redundancies.

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  • If the College cannot effectively manage and plan it's resources, why on earth should government take it seriously? And, they clearly haven't! The College has lost every major campaign since Gerada was elected. The RCGP has become the King Canute of medical politics.

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  • Rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic did not stop it sinking. Make the CSA fair and transparent for all trainees and allow the whole membership a say in electing our leaders (preferably without banning legitimate candidates or announcing the wrong winner). RCGP governance, transparency and accountability is arcane.

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