NHS pay- bosses ignore calls to curb pay rises
NHS Health service chief executives have troughed their pay to almost £160,000 despite calls for restraint.
The Coalition’s health reforms could drive up managers’ pay even further by giving executives more control over salaries, according to Incomes Data Services (IDS). The research group, which tracks executive pay, said health service chiefs had routinely ignored “pay guidance”.
The Department of Health has told NHS trusts that executive salaries should rise by no more than 1.5 per cent a year, but IDS estimated that average executive pay rose by 4.5 per cent in 2009-10.
Based on salaries disclosed in annual reports, the median salary of an NHS trust chief executive in England was £158,800 last year.
Steve Tatton, of IDS, said: “With salary rises running at these levels, such restraint so far does not seem to have been a feature of boardroom pay deliberations.”
The research also found that NHS trusts that were free of central control tended to pay their bosses more. The median earnings of chief executives in foundation trusts was £164,500, compared with £152,500 for non-foundation trusts.
Mr Tatton said those findings posed a dilemma for ministers. “The Government wants to bear down on senior executive pay in the public sector, yet it also wants to see decisions made locally without interference from central authorities.
“The issue for NHS organisations is will they be free to pay their senior executives what they decide is necessary or will they have to follow externally imposed pay restraints?,” he added.
Some health executives are paid much more than the median, with at least 46 receiving pay and benefits packages worth more than £200,000. The best-paid executive identified was Ron Kerr, the head of Guys and St Thomas’ foundation trust in London, who had a total remuneration package worth £274,000.
Several of the best paid executives lead trusts that have announced job losses.
University College London trust, whose chief executive Sir Robert Naylor was paid £262,500, is cutting more than 300 posts, and Barts and London, where Peter Morris received £262,000, is cutting 635.
IDS also found increasing “instability” on NHS trusts’ management boards, with almost a quarter of senior jobs changing hands every year.
Boardroom turnover for non-foundation NHS trusts was 24 per cent in the year to March, up from 17 per cent the previous year. In foundation trusts, it rose from 14 per cent to 21 per cent.
Tags: Health Professionals, National Health Service, NHS, nhs cash shortages, red tape