Latest News - 3400 A Day For Coming Back As An Interim
Thursday Nov 3
The 1k a day club are named
3400 a day for NHS Chief who came back as an Interim
A series of NHS executives who quit their posts with lucrative payoffs have been re-employed on Interim contracts worth thousand of pounds a day.
In one case an official given a 300,000 payoff was re-employed on daily rates of 3,400.
He was among 14 "temporary" executives on more than 1,000 a day, according to NHS accounts. Most had previously worked elsewhere in the health service.
The "revolving door" of managers includes one who had to leave a previous job in disgrace after he presided over a hospital whose own doctors said some of its services were worse than the Third World.
MPs expressed concern at the scale of payments being made to senior managers.
Stephen Dorrell, chairman of the Commons health select committee, said: "This is the sort of thing that gives effective management a really bad name."
The Conservative MP said: "In a service the size of the NHS it should be possible to find managers who can step in for short term situations, rather than to end up bringing people back at such inflated rates.
"My concern is that there is no drive within the health service to avoid this kind of practice."
The use of "interim" management in the NHS was justified by several of the organisations as solving specific short-term problems while long term plans were drawn up.
But many of the arrangements uncovered by The Sunday Telegraph lasted for more than a year, despite the rocketing bills.
Derek Smith received 150,000 for 44 days work in charge of Dorset County Hospital Foundation trust, according to accounts for 2010/11.
The sum, which includes expenses, amounts to a daily rate of 3,400 - twice as much as a nurse takes home as a month, and five times the salary of his predecessor.
The year before Mr Smith was paid 268,000 from the same trust for 97 days in charge.
While at Dorset, he proposed 200 job losses and a pay freeze, insisting the measures were "tough but necessary" and would even boost morale in the long-term.
Mr Smith became a "management consultant" after being made redundant as chief executive of Hammersmith Hospitals trust in 2007, when he is understood to have received a payout worth more than 300,000.
Four months later he took an interim job running University Hospitals of Leicester Trust, which paid more than 205,000 for six months work. Since April, he has been running Hertfordshire Community trust, on daily rates of 900.
Peter Reading spent 18 months as interim chief executive of Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals NHS Foundation trust, and was paid 230,000 for his first 12 months in post, plus 40,000 to an agency.
Dr Reading had previously received a 700,000 payoff when he took early retirement from University Hospitals of Leicester trust in 2007.
Barnsley Hospital Foundation trust paid Paul O'Connor 298,000 to be interim chief executive for nine months from June 2010; a daily rate of 1,600, before he was given the job permanently, at a salary of between 145,000 and 150,000.
The year before he was forced to resign as head of Birmingham Children's Hospital Foundation trust, two weeks before a damning report was published by the Healthcare Commission, which said the hospital was putting children's safety at risk.
The review was triggered by a secret report by the hospital's own consultants, who said some services were worse than those in the developing world, and that doctors had stopped reporting the dangers, because of a lack of response from managers.
Last night, Mr O'Connor said he had a track record of "turning around" healthcare organisations, adding: "I had no choice but to leave Birmingham Children's Hospital without being able to address the serious issues raised in the report and this will always be a matter of regret."
In most cases, the payments were not made directly to the managers, but via agencies, which were able to take a share.
Payments for Mr Smith went to Durrow consultancy, run by his wife, Ruth Harrison - a former NHS chief executive who was given a 140,000 "golden goodbye" to leave Stoke Mandeville Hospital in Buckinghamshire after a superbug scandal in which 33 patients died, between 2003 and 2005.
Trusts said the payments - some of which included expenses - did not include national insurance or pension contributions, which are paid on top of salaries.
Katherine Murphy, Chief Executive of The Patients Association said the spending was a "total waste of money" diverting funds from the frontline.
"With the NHS struggling to provide comprehensive care for patients, it is absurd that such obscene amounts of money are being spent to pay off NHS managers only to re-employ them at eyewatering rates," she said.
Janet Davies, from the Royal College of Nursing said the disclosures would come as a "kick in the teeth" for nurses and doctors, whose pay has been frozen for two years.
The 1k a day club
Most of the NHS managers on rates of more than 1,000 a day have circulated around the NHS, using a mixture of permanent and temporary posts to boost their income.
Mark Davies is currently being paid 2,000 a day, via his wife's consultancy business, to run Imperial College Healthcare Trust in London. The trust, which has debts of more than 40 million - the highest in the NHS - will pay 800,000 for his services, if he works a "provisional term" of two years which began in May. Last month the trust, which runs five hospitals, denied reports that it intended to close St Mary's Hospital, and sell it to property developers, to deal with the financial crisis. Mr Davies previously worked for NHS London health authority.
Jan Filochowski, chief executive of West Hertfordshire Trust, last year received a salary of 280,000, including bonuses - believed to be the highest amount for any NHS hospital boss on a permanent contract, and twice the annual pay of his predecessor. Mr Filochowski secured the deal in August 2009 after doing the job for 21 months on an "interim" basis, ending up on day rates of 2,200, paid via South East Coast health authority, from which he was seconded. An NHS inquiry into the appointment criticised the trust for giving Mr Filochowski the job running hospitals in Hemel Hempstead, Watford and St Albans without advertising it. But the report listed challenges of the job - including downgrading Hemel Hempstead hospital and closing its Accident and Emergency department - which it said meant open recruitment would have been "disruptive".
NHS Croydon spent more than 625,000 on three temporary executives in 2010/11.They included Jessica Brittin, formerly an interim manager at Bexley Care Trust, who was paid 245,000 to be NHS Croydon's interim director of commissioning, then deputy chief executive, a daily rate of 1,080. Fellow temporary managers David Holden and Peter Pentecost were paid 190,000 each. Gavin Barwell, Conservative MP for Croydon Central said it was "incredible" in the current economic climate that people were being paid more than the Prime Minister's 142,500 to do such jobs.
Many of the managers received the generous payments while making plans for swingeing job cuts. At Milton Keynes Hospital Foundation trust, interim chief executive Mark Millar received 213,000 for 10 months work in 2010/11 - a daily rate of 1,130 - while drawing up plans to shed 280 posts by 2013. Before that he spent three years as interim head of Hinchingbrooke Healthcare NHS trust.
At Luton PCT, Keith Edmunds was paid more than 260,000 to be interim director of commissioning for a year - a daily rate of 1,182. Chris White, the PCT's interim chief operations officer spent 21 months on consultancy rates, receiving at least 230,000 for the role in 2010/11, a daily rate of 1,022 and 225,000 for just nine months work in 2009/10.
Michael Scott was chief executive of Westminster PCT until November 2010. A month later, he was hired to run Walsall Hospitals trust, and paid 115,000 for three and a half months: a daily rate of 1,750.
Neil Wilson and Ruth Derrett received 196,000 for 10 months providing "interim cover" to run an NHS commissioning group covering the East of England, which decides which drugs the NHS should pay for. Their daily rate, of 1,044, equates to 235,000 for a full year - more than twice the salary paid for the job they covered, after chief operating officer Trevor Myers was made redundant, with a 140,000 payoff. Payments for their services went to a firm called N A Wilson Associates, of which Mr Wilson is a director, while Ms Derrett is a partner of a limited liability partnership, connected with the company.
Terry Tonks received 64,000 for 43 days work as interim finance director at Dorset County Hospital Foundation trust, alongside Derek Smith - a daily rate of 1,480. Mr Tonks, a former finance director for Royal West Sussex NHS trust, was a director of the agency which received payments on his behalf.
Howard Perry was paid 412,000 for 19 months as chief operating officer of NHS South East Essex Community Healthcare; a daily rate of 1,150. At nearby NHS South West Essex PCT, Dr Attila Vegh received 340,000 for 14 months as managing director of community services - a daily rate of 1,300, until November 2010. In August he was given a permanent job running Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust.
Source: www.telegraph.co.uk - 29 October 2011
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