Embattled trust boss ‘highest paid’

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Published: Thursday 2nd April 2015 by The News Editor

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The boss of an NHS trust recently placed into special measures was the highest paid chief executive in the country last year with a salary of up to £280,000, according to a new report.

Peter Morris stepped down as chief executive of Barts Health NHS Trust in February, and the trust, which is the largest in the country, was put into special measures by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in March after it was deemed to have not given ” sufficient priority to safety”.

Research by pay analysts E-reward.co.uk found that its chief executive received a salary of between £275,000 and £280,000 over the year to March 2014, “topping the salary league”.

Its report also found that m ore than three-quarters of NHS hospital trust directors now earn more than £100,000, with one in five (21.8%) paid more than £142,500.

It said that a t a time when most public sector workers are subject to continued pay restraint, foundation trust directors in England received average salary rises of 3.5% during the period .

But the report said that more than half of those at non-foundation trusts (52.1%) experienced no increases in salary ranges, along with Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

Amongst chief executives it said there was a “wide range in rates”, with Barts being followed by three other large trusts – University College London Hospital (£260,000 to £265,000), Cambridge University (£260,000 to £265,000), and Guy’s and St Thomas’, which gave an actual rate of £253,000.

At the other end of the spectrum it said the Royal Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases in Bath paid its chief executive between £85,000 and £90,000, although its income, at £18.5 million, was the smallest amount recorded.

While just 6% of full-time, full-year directors in UK trusts registered bonuses, some were more substantial than others, with the c hief executive of Oxford University Hospitals receiving between £35,000 and £40,000 in recognition of performance, the report said.

It said that as with all public sector organisations, NHS trusts are required to publish the ratio between the pay of their highest-paid director and the median full-time earnings of employees. The highest was in Wales where it was 7.1:1, while in Scotland it was 6:1 and i n England the median ratio was 6.9:1.

E-reward.co.uk’s head of executive remuneration research, Steve Glenn, said: “Over the last decade, as many NHS trusts acquired greater independence over decisions on boardroom pay we have witnessed remuneration levels creeping up so that now the vast majority earn over £100,000.

“Also notable from our findings is the fact that this is the first year since the financial crisis that salary rises have shown signs of movement with the average and median increases for all directors standing at 3.4% and 2.7% respectively with increases tending to be greatest in foundation trusts.”

E-reward.co.uk said the data d rew on remuneration reports from 258 NHS hospital trusts and health boards in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales concerning more than 2,000 directors.

Dr Peter Carter, chief executive and general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, said: “This is another example of NHS executives getting their priorities wrong.

“The health service needs good managers, but sums like this going to bosses when nurses have faced the reality of cut backs for years just adds insult to injury. Many staff will be wondering if their vital work is valued at all.

“It is time precious NHS resources went where they are needed – to front line services which are under staffed and under pressure.”

Published: Thursday 2nd April 2015 by The News Editor

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