Failed Stafford NHS hospital bosses given pay rises while deaths crisis unfolded

Once again labour rewards failure as senior managers who oversaw one of the worst scandals in the history of the NHS at Stafford Hospital awarded themselves bumper pay increases at the same time as hundreds of patients were needlessly dying.

Board members at the Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust received pay rises running to thousands of pounds a year after successfully steering Stafford Hospital to Foundation status.

But an independent report into the catastrophic failings at the hospital has revealed how managers knew about the crisis at the same time as they were approving the increases.

Patients’ groups last night said the idea they were giving themselves rewards as the elderly and vulnerable were dying was “sickening” and added insult to injury.

As part of the Trust’s efforts to gain Foundation status a remuneration committee was established which oversaw the salary increases awarded to the Executive Directors.

The Chief Executive of the Trust, Martin Yeates saw his £145,000 salary rise to £169,538 between 2006 and 2008 at the same time as patients were suffering appalling standards of care.

Mr Yeates, who stepped down following a damning Health Commission report last March, was allowed to leave without any disciplinary action, a pension pot worth in excess of one million pounds and six months severance pay.

Julie Bailey, founder of the Cure the NHS campaign group, which helped bring the scandal of Stafford hospital to light said: “It is disgusting and sickening that while our loved ones were being treated so appallingly and hundreds were dying unnecessarily, the hospital bosses responsible were rewarding themselves with pay increases.”

A spokesman for the Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust said Mr Yeates’s pay increase had been agreed by the Remuneration Committee and said the rise had reflected the change in his responsibilites when the hospital changed to a Foundation hospital.

Last week’s report, published by Robert Francis QC, revealed how patients were left unwashed for up to a month, were wrongly diagnosed, were abused and neglected by hostile uncaring staff and were often not fed properly.

During the same period several non-executive members of the board also received massive bonuses which saw their salaries more than double.

Toni Brisby Chairman of the NHS Trust, who worked three and a half days a week, increased her salary from – £18,000 to £40,000

Gerald Hindley, who was Vice Chairman of the Trust went, and worked two and a half days a week saw his salary rise from £5,900 to £15,000.

Other non-executive members of the board also got increases from £5,000 to £12,000.

The figures were revealed as a new report suggested that patients are still unhappy with levels of care at the Trust.

In a survey of outpatients, Mid-Staffordshire scored in the bottom fifth of trusts for general cleanliness, the level of respect and dignity with which patients were treated and their overall care.

Patients also complained of doctors and other staff talking as if they were not there, of a lack of privacy when they were being examined and when their condition was being discussed, and of not being told how long they would have to wait.

The newly released survey, published by the Care Quality Commission, was carried out between March and May last year.

It also found that the Trust scored in the lowest 20 per cent when patients were asked if they had received copies of letters between the hospital and their GP.

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