Generous VR Really??
Not sure where your friend works but where I am we were offered MARS (mutually agreed resignation scheme - not VR, no, no cough cough) where the package was 50% of what you would get if you stuck it out and made them make you redundant...... Really doesn't sound like much of a win to me.
You also don't mention as to whether it was with the same organisation, I suspect not. The NHS cannot be considered to be one big company, its made of separate legal entities so getting a job with another trust is akin to getting a job with a different company, you wouldn't want to be restricted from working for two years after being made redundant in the private sector would you?