Government ministers are working to create a national NHS resignation scheme to cut management numbers in the health service, it has been reported.
A number of NHS trusts have independently offered staff a lump payment under "mutually agreed resignation schemes", which are designed for positions managers do not think need replacing, or which can be filled by redeployment from other jobs.
It is thought the practice could prevent some compulsory redundancies within the health service, and NHS East of England Chief Executive Sir Neil McKay has stepped in to organise a national version of the scheme, reported the Health Service Journal (HSJ).
In doing so he hopes to ensure all NHS trusts offer the same options, as the health service as a whole tries to meet saving targets and prepare for the abolition of PCTs set out in the government's white paper.
In a letter to NHS managers, Sir Neil said: "I am aware that a number of NHS organisations have agreed mutually agreed resignation schemes (MARS) to help with management costs reductions.
"Although such schemes are not currently related to any impact of the white paper, I want to ensure we are as joined up as possible.
"We are therefore working with the NHS trade unions and NHS Employers to create a national scheme that would supersede any local arrangements (other than those developed by foundation trusts)."
According to the HSJ, the NHS deal will allow managers to receive up to a year's pay if they volunteer to leave the service, which is equal to £97,478 for the highest paid manager under the Agenda for Change contract, or £137,500 for the average PCT chief executive.