The Department of Health spent tens of millions on making voluntary redundancies last year, a health minister has revealed.
In all, the DH spent £31.6m in 2016/17 as part of a major programme to reduce staffing in the department.
The ‘DH2020’ programme, announced in 2015, aimed to cut the number of DH civil servants by a third by 2020.
When it was announced, the programme aimed to reduce staff from 2,000 to 1,300-1,400, via voluntary exits and a redeployment programme to start with; and via voluntary and compulsory redundancy if necessary.
Responding to a parliamentary question, health minister Philip Dunne said: ‘The amount the Department spent facilitating voluntary exits for staff in 2016/17 was £31,568,000.’
A DH spokesperson said: ‘The Department undertook a redesign and subsequent restructure to make sure it is best placed to meet current and future health and social care challenges facing our country.
‘Redundancy and other departure costs were paid in accordance with the provisions of the Civil Service Compensation scheme.’