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.’