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Bransford: Harriett Baldwin shocked at "chilling breach of confidence"

17th October 2007

Papers given to members of the public at last week's West Midlands Ambulance Trust Board Meeting show the Estimated Redundancy for each member of staff at Bransford and Shrewsbury, down to the nearest penny. In a detailed financial spreadsheet, each staff member's birthday, salary, years of service, staff ID and redundancy estimate is listed. In addition, the Trust has calculated exactly how far each staff member lives from Brierley Hill (34.2 miles on average).

The total redundancy estimate for Bransford staff is £668,789.67, more than the money the Trust plans to raise from the sale of Bransford. The total redundancy estimate for Shrewsbury staff is £576,501.70, again much more than the value of the Shrewsbury building. In accompanying papers called Financial Assessment, which were posted on the Trust website on October 15th, the Trust states, "The Trust has confirmed that no compulsory redundancies will be made. However, for the purposes of this evaluation, it is assumed that staff with an increase in journey time of less than 15 miles will transfer. It is assumed that 25% of remaining staff would retrain, with the remainder either relocating, or being offered redundancy (whichever is more expensive)".

Harriett Baldwin, Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for West Worcestershire, who was given the papers by a member of the public who attended the meeting said today, "I could not believe my eyes. This is a chilling breach of confidence. How can we believe a Trust that says during the public consultation period that there will be no redundancies and then immediately afterwards calculates what they could cost to the penny? How can we believe anything from a Trust that won't tell us how much mileage will cost during the consultation period and then calculates distances from each staff member's home to the nearest 10th of a mile afterwards? How can it be a good use of NHS assets to sell off buildings and use the proceeds to pay off experienced, trained, award-winning staff members? This must surely also a breach of the Data Protection Act. I shall be writing to the Secretary of State for Health to ask him to investigate this outrageous breach of confidence. This consultation process has been botched and needs to start again with more options on the table."

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Harriett Baldwin
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