TEN Hampshire NHS managers were given “golden-goodbyes” of more than £100,000 after their positions were axed.

The trust, which took over running Winchester’s Royal Hampshire County Hospital 12 months ago, has so far paid £4.1m in redundancy payments to 85 staff, including five senior nurse managers.

It works out an average of more than £48,000 each – but the biggest individual payout was between £140,000 and £145,000.

Anti-tax campaigners have warned the “huge” redundancy payments could undermine the long-term savings reorganisation was supposed to achieve.

But David French, financial director of Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (HHFT), said the cuts would save £3.5m in 2012-13 and more in future years.

Drastic reform The trust, which now includes Winchester, Basingstoke and Andover hospitals, spent £3.5m on pay-offs to 73 staff in 2011-12, including 33 senior managers, 33 administration and clerical, one medical, four nursing and two estates and facilities.

Ten staff were handed six-figure sums between £100,001 and £145,000 and 19 employees received between £50,000 and £100,000.

In addition, pay-offs totalling £600,000 have been agreed for 12 staff this financial year to date, with the prospect of more redundancy payouts to come.

The trust refused to reveal the identities of staff who received the biggest redundancy packages.

Mr French said the trust wanted to avoid redundancies if possible as they were “expensive”, but did not rule out more job losses.

Most of the jobs cut were in finance, IT, human resources, legal services, managerial and administration functions – not frontline doctors and nurses – as a result of merging Winchester and Eastleigh Healthcare Trust and Basingstoke and North Hampshire NHS Foundation Trust.

Under NHS terms and conditions, staff who have been made redundant are entitled to one month’s pay for every year they have worked. Payments are capped at two years’ salary.

The trust said departing staff were from Winchester and Basingstoke hospital sites and most were compulsory redundancies.

Matthew Sinclair, chief executive of the Taxpayers’ Alliance, said: “It’s important that the public sector pay bill is trimmed to ease the pressure on taxpayers and redundancy payments are a necessary part of that.

“But with 30 staff at just one NHS trust in Hampshire receiving packages of £50,000 or more, it shows that the guidelines for drawing up these contracts are outdated and in need of drastic reform.”

Four directors received bonuses on top of their six-figure salaries for organising the takeover, the trust’s last annual accounts show.

Director of nursing Donna Green was handed between £15,000 and £20,000 for acting as chief executive during the planning stage, while chief executive Mary Edwards, medical director Andrew Bishop and chief finance officer David French received between £10,000 and £15,000.