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Pay warning to NHS managers
SENIOR NHS managers in York and North Yorkshire need to set an example to their workforce by resisting excessive salaries, an MP has said.
MP Anne McIntosh has spoken in support of health secretary Jeremy Hunt, who said the NHS needs a “collective reality check” to ensure that it does not end up in a situation “where very high pay is normalised”.
Referring to a report in The Press that five bosses at York Hospital received pay rises totalling £85,000 last year as the gap between the highest and lowest paid hospital workers widened, the MP for Thirsk, Malton and Filey, said: “In times of austerity it is very important senior NHS managers give a lead and demonstrate restraint.
“NHS funds are limited and when the pay of medical and nursing staff is being controlled senior managers must lead by example.”
Mr Hunt has announced his intention to crack down on excessive pay in a letter to eight health quango chiefs in which he warned the NHS risked losing public confidence because of a “culture of excessive pay and pay-offs”.
The health secretary is due to announce plans to impose a cap on the number of managers in NHS quangos earning more than £100,000.
While he has no powers to limit pay levels in hospital trusts, he hopes his move will begin to change the culture in which thousands of NHS managers pocket salaries in six figures, the Daily Telegraph reported.
Nearly 8,000 NHS hospital managers and consultants were paid six-figure salaries in 2012. Hunt said that while some high salaries were justified, they must be “the exception, not the rule”.
Last week it was reported that Dr Alastair Turnbull, the medical director of York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust – which operates nine hospital sites including in York, Scarborough, Selby and Malton – last year received a rise of about £15,000, taking his annual earnings to between £225,000 and £230,000.
Dr Turnbull earned 9.3 times the average hospital salary, up from a ratio of 8.5 in 2011/12.
The average salary of hospital staff dropped from £25,611 to £24,566 at the same time as the top bosses’ pay increased.
Meanwhile, Patrick Crowley, chief executive, received a pay rise of about £30,000, taking his annual earnings to between £190,000 and £195,000. The director of finance, chief nurse and director of HR received pay rises totalling £40,000.
The hospital trust said executive director salaries were reviewed following the merger of York and Scarborough Trusts when the “increased size and complexity of the organisation, and the demands this placed on them” were taken into consideration.
The highest-paid member of medical staff working for the trust last year was a consultant earning £263,317.