NHS bosses’ pay soars 50% as thousands of doctors and nurses face axe
NHS bosses in charge of hospitals being forced to sack thousands of staff have seen their pay soar by up to 50 per cent in the past five years, it has emerged. The chief executives at trusts facing the worst cutbacks are now on lucrative salaries far higher than the Prime Minister’s, with some earning more than £200,000.
And most handed themselves comfortable pay rises last year even though hundreds of their own staff were being made redundant to reduce costs.
The NHS has been ordered to make up to £20billion of efficiency savings by 2014 and hospitals have resorted to axing hundreds of posts to meet the targets.
Figures released yesterday show more than 50,000 jobs have been earmarked to go over the next three years, including frontline doctors, nurses and midwives.
Many NHS workers lucky to keep their jobs are facing a two-year pay freeze, which effectively amounts to a pay cut once inflation is taken into account.
But it has emerged that over the past five years the hospital chief executives laying off the most staff have seen their salaries soar by as much as £70,000. The same hospitals have also squandered inappropriate sums of money redesigning their logos, on expensive restaurant meals for managers and pornographic magazines for IVF clinics.
Figures show the chief executive of Central Manchester University Hospitals Trust, where 1,400 jobs are to go in the next four years, has enjoyed a pay rise of 48 per cent since 2008. He is currently on a salary of between £210,000 and £215,000, an increase of £70,000 compared to five years ago.
Meanwhile the pay of the chief executive at Devon and Exeter NHS Trust – which is to lose more than 1,000 full time posts by 2012 – has gone up by more than 30 per cent in the past five years.
Her salary has overtaken that of David Cameron, who earns £142,000 a year, and she now takes home between £165,000 and £170,000. The boss of Heart of England NHS Trust takes home around £240,000 a year, a rise of almost 30 per cent since 2006. But the trust is set to lose 1,600 posts over the next four years, although bosses insist most will be managerial and administrative roles.
At East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, which is set to shed more than 1,000 staff, the chief executive’s pay has also soared by 32 per cent to between £165,000 and £170,000.
The most up-to-date figures uncovered by the TUC show at least 53,150 posts in hospitals, health trusts and ambulance services will be lost by 2014.
Campaigners have repeatedly warned staff are already stretched to breaking point and further cuts will lead to longer waiting times, poorer care and deaths.
Dr Peter Carter, chief executive and general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, said: ‘These pay rises reveal poor judgment and leadership at a time when the NHS is facing serious financial challenges. ‘It also sends completely the wrong message to frontline staff, who are not only concerned about losing their jobs, but are facing a pay freeze. It is the collective hard work of all NHS staff that ensures high quality healthcare services are delivered on a daily basis. ‘Managers play a very important role in the NHS, but nothing should come ahead of delivering patient care.’
Charlotte Linacre, campaign manager at the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: ‘It’s unbelievable that some NHS bosses have taken massive salary increases just as the NHS has to be careful with spending including on staff costs. ‘Taxpayers who fund these eye-watering increases will not be impressed. ‘Bosses knew budgets would be tighter in the following years but they’ve helped themselves to more money, it’s time these high salaries were brought under control. ‘Taxpayers will feel cheated if top earner salary hikes have been prioritised over core frontline health services.’
But NHS can’t afford procedure to stop child going blind
A toddler faces a lifetime of blindness and disfigurement after her NHS Trust refused to fund life-changing laser surgery which would save her sight. Zosia Knight was born with a small port wine stain birthmark beneath her right eye that has since spread across her face and now threatens her eyesight.
Two specialist dermatologists have warned that if left untreated the mark will spread and cause the two-year-old to become blind in one eye.
Doctors have recommended several courses of laser surgery to be performed under general anaesthetic over two years, which would cost £12,000 to carry out privately. But NHS West Sussex has refused to fund the treatment and turned down mother Carole Knight’s emotional appeal to save her daughter from a lifetime of disability.
Her cause has been backed by Crawley MP Henry Smith and two expert consultant dermatologists but nevertheless NHS chiefs have been steadfast in their refusal to pay for the treatment. It is one of the only care trusts in the country not to fund the treatment automatically.
Carole, from Maidenbower, West Sussex, said: ‘It just doesn’t make any sense to me. ‘I know mums who have had gastric bands fitted and breast augmentations that the PCT has funded. But they won’t make sure my daughter has a happy future. ‘She could face disability, blindness, discrimination and could lose her confidence in later life – and it all comes down to money.
‘If we had £12,000 we would give it to her. It’s so upsetting, I know children are being treated for this all over the country but we have been refused just because we live in West Sussex. ‘They won’t even see us anymore so we had to pay for a private consultation this week. It cost £140 for just 15 minutes.
‘It makes me feel awful. I’m a paediatric nurse and I know the treatment is available. I know other people get it but my daughter has to suffer. ‘I think the decision is negligent.’
Time is of the essence for Zosia. Laser surgery for her type of birthmark is more likely to be successful in younger patients and her mother thinks it will be too traumatic for her to endure the operations and recovery once she is at school.
Crawley MP Henry Smith said: ‘I am very disappointed that the appeal was refused. The impact of a spreading birthmark on the well-being of a child is huge. ‘This is another example of what happens when managers rather than clinicians make decisions about patients’ care.’
A spokeswoman for NHS West Sussex said: ‘We recognise that patients applying for individual funding are in extremely difficult positions and are coming to us seeking a possible solution. ‘It is our job to help with these solutions but we must do this by reviewing their case very carefully with expert medical judgement.
‘Decisions are not made lightly; they are made by a panel of consultants, GPs, and lay members who look at all of the information presented to it and consider it thoroughly. ‘There are treatments and drugs which are not routinely funded by the NHS, but when a patient applies for funding for one of them, we consider each application on an individual basis and in detail.
‘We do have to prioritise treatments to get the best from our limited resources, and unfortunately, the NHS is not in a position to meet all the demands placed upon it.’
British woman on welfare owing £3,500 rent can’t be evicted: New European human rights ruling could lead to thousands of tenants refusing to pay
Evicting a woman from her council home for failing to pay rent would breach her human rights, judges ruled yesterday.
Town Hall chiefs wanted to evict Rebecca Powell, who receives thousands of pounds in benefits, after she ran up more than £3,500 in arrears on the accommodation she was given because she was homeless. But the Supreme Court said that – under the controversial European Convention on Human Rights – this would be a breach of the right to ‘respect for a person’s home’.
Council leaders and the Government had fought the case and fear it may now be harder to evict thousands of council tenants who fall into arrears. Legal experts said there was an increasing ‘trend’ for tenants – including ‘neighbours from hell’ – to use human rights law to thwart eviction.
Passing yesterday’s judgment, Lord Hope made it clear the ruling had its origins in Strasbourg. He said the ‘time had come to accept and apply the jurisprudence of the European court’.
The ruling brought fresh demands for reform of Labour’s Human Rights Act, which enshrines the European Convention on Human Rights into UK law, and of the unelected Strasbourg court.
It comes in the wake of cases saying that prisoners must be entitled to vote and that paedophiles can apply to be taken off the Sex Offender Register.
Last night Tory MP Philip Davies said: ‘It seems to me that the courts always find in favour of the human rights of people who are doing something wrong. We have got to change that balance, it is getting completely out of hand. ‘What about the human rights of the landlord to get their rent, what about the human rights of the taxpayer?’
Miss Powell, now 23, was given a home in Cranford, West London, by Hounslow Council in April 2007. By June the following year Miss Powell, who lives with her partner and four children, owed the council more than £3,500. She was entitled to around £15,000 a year in housing benefit which could have covered the payments, but had not applied for it properly.
Eviction proceedings began but were halted when Miss Powell appealed under the Human Rights Act. At one stage the council moved the family out in order to renovate the home at taxpayers’ expense, then moved them back in.
Yesterday, Lord Hope and Lord Phillips ruled that the council had not considered whether it was ‘proportionate’ to evict Miss Powell and ordered that the eviction be quashed.
Hounslow Council, anticipating defeat, has offered her ‘suitable alternative accommodation’ and she has never been without a home.
Judges will have to consider the ruling when looking at similar cases involving people who would otherwise be homeless.
Miss Powell has agreed to clear her arrears of £3,536.39 at £5 per week, or sooner if she can.
A police force once renowned for civility: British police now get 58,000 complaints in a year
The legacy of Leftist management that made quotas and box-ticking their over-riding goal
Police receive a formal complaint every 20 minutes for being rude, late, slow or neglecting their duty.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission revealed there were a record 58,339 allegations made against officers and staff last year. Overall, this is the equivalent of one in every five police workers being the subject of a complaint in a single year. Some 11,576 – or 20 per cent of the total – were for ‘incivility, impoliteness and intolerance’.
A further 14,983 complaints were for ‘neglect or failure of duty’, which includes being late, slow or not keeping victims of crime informed what is happening with their case. It comes at a bad time for the police, who are campaigning against budget cuts.
The Police Federation said the public would be ‘worried if the police stopped providing the current range of services as a result of budget cuts’. But a survey revealed that support for the police falls among people who have met an officer.
The Ipsos MORI poll found that, of those people who have come into contact with an officer, 12 per cent say their local police are performing ‘poorly’. Of people who had no dealings with the police, only 7 per cent said the service was sub-standard.
Overall, only 59 per cent of the public said the police were doing a good or excellent job. The IPCC figures show complaints against the police have increased for seven years in a row.
The report shows 33,854 different files of complaint were submitted – more than double the number in 2003-04. They contained 58,399 allegations of misconduct, with some people making more than one allegation, the IPCC said.
In some cases, individual officers receive multiple complaints. Last year, it emerged one officer in the West Midlands had to wear a headcam on duty to check his conduct following the allegations.
The complaints follow recent admissions by police that four out of ten victims of crime do not get a visit from an officer.
Police have also been under fire for wrongly writing-off thousands of vicious assaults and thefts as ‘no crime’. This happens when officers dismiss a person’s report of a crime without even making cursory inquiries. In effect, they take a decision the victim is wrong or lying.
Deputy Chief Constable John Feavyour, of the Association of Chief Police Officers, said: ‘Police officers have thousands of interactions with members of the public each day and these are of vital importance in maintaining the trust and confidence of the public in the police service.’