600 NHS fat cats earn more than David Cameron
More than 600 NHS managers currently earn more than Prime Minister David Cameron after enjoying generous pay rises under Labour, an investigation has found.
Earnings for trust chief executives rose by 121 per cent under the last Government, outstripping increases for all other groups of health workers, By contrast, nurses’ earnings rose by only 68 per cent.
By the time Labour lost the election, four out of five NHS hospital chief executives in England were earning more than £142,500 – the salary received by David Cameron.
At least 650 NHS managers earn in excess of Mr Cameron’s salary, according to the latest figures – including 46 with an income of at least £200,000 in 2009/10.
The findings reveal generous rewards for thousands of senior managers on the boards of hundreds of hospital, primary care, ambulance and mental health trusts. Hundreds more received six-figure salaries courtesy of health authorities and dozens of NHS quangos. It comes as millions of NHS staff now face a pay freeze, as part of the Government’s austerity measures.
Findings of the report by Income Data Services, backed up with additional research by this newspaper, show:
* In 2009/2010, 75 per cent of those running all types of NHS trust earned more than the current prime minister’s salary.
* The average trust chief executive earned £158,800, while those running foundation trusts received £164,500.
* Among thousands of NHS board members except for doctors, the average pay rise was 4.5 per cent – despite Government advice that overall pay increases for NHS senior managers should be limited to 1.5 per cent.
* 15 per cent of directors of NHS hospitals, and 17 per cent of those working at foundation trusts, got a pay rise in double figures during 2009/2010.
The highest incomes, of £282,500, were received by David Bennett, the head of Monitor, the regulator for hospital foundation trusts, and Neil Lloyd, chief executive of NHS Professionals – a quango which was set up to reduce the amount hospitals spend on staff.
Ruth Carnall, chief executive of London Strategic Health Authority, received £277,500, while Sir Ron Kerr, head of Guy’s and St Thomas’s foundation trust, was paid £274,500.
Several hospital chief executives earning more than £200,000 enjoyed rises of more than 50 per cent over five years. They include Sir Robert Naylor, on £262,500, at University College London Hospitals trust, which has just announced plans to shed 360 jobs, and David Dalton, at Salford Royal Hospitals trust, who received £232,600 in 2009/10, as the trust drew up plans to axe 750 hospital posts.
At Barts and the London trust, which is about to lose 635 jobs – including 10 per cent of the hospital’s nursing staff – Peter Morris, the chief executive, was paid £262,000.
The findings lay bare the extent to which billions of pounds of extra NHS spending under Labour went on the salaries of a swelling bureaucracy, during a period when the total number of NHS managers almost doubled.
Last-ditch attempts to limit the excesses as Britain entered recession made little difference, with thousands of NHS managers receiving a bumper pay boost in 2009/10. Official guidance was openly flouted, so that the average increase for those working at board level was three times the 1.5 per cent limit advised, the report discloses.
The report describes how the median earnings for NHS trust chief executives “accelerated sharply” between 1997 and 2010. The rise of 121 per cent in their earnings outstripped the average rate of increase across both the public and private sector, the research says.
Last night Dr Peter Carter, general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, claimed the findings would come as “a kick in the guts” to the public and to front line NHS staff facing a pay freeze. He said: “This exposes some absolutely deplorable double standards, especially as Britain entered recession. “At a time when senior managers should have been showing leadership, too many of them accepted rises which are absolutely indefensible.”
When Tony Blair became Prime Minister, NHS trust chief executives earned 4.4 times as much as the average health worker. Yet despite Labour’s talk of narrowing the gap between the highest and lowest paid, by the time of the general election, trust chief executives were earning 6.1 times the average health service wage.
Most of the highest earners identified in the research will survive the Coalition’s attempts to streamline NHS administration.
Of 46 health officials found to be earning more than £200,000, 39 are at organisations which will remain in place if the Government goes ahead with its plans to abolish health authorities and primary care trusts.
The British hospital where 80 per cent of babies have foreign mothers
Just one baby in five born in one NHS ¬hospital has a British mother, new figures have revealed. Of the 3,289 children born at Ealing Hospital, West London, in the past year, a remarkable 2,655 were to foreign nationals.
The statistics – released following a Freedom of Information request by The Mail on Sunday also show that the maternity unit dealt witha total of 104 different nationalities in the 12 months to February.
These include 537 babies born to Indian mothers – the largest minority ethnic group – 389 Poles, 270 Sri Lankans, 260 Somalians, 200 Afghans and 208 Pakistanis. In contrast, of the 634 babies with British mothers, just three were from Wales and six from Scotland.
Maternity services at the hospital have been coming under increasing pressure, with a 20 per cent rise in births over the past five years, almost twice the national average.
The hospital has had to take on 32 extra ¬midwives to cope with the boom, which saw 500 more babies delivered there last year than in 2006.
A key factor is that foreign women tend to have more babies than British women – an average of 2.5 compared with 1.84 for UK nationals – and Ealing is one of the most ethnically diverse boroughs in Britain.
The figures are derived from how mothers declared their nationality on hospital paperwork, so the ¬British category also covers foreign-born mothers granted British passports and second-generation immigrants who were born British citizens.
Nationally, one baby in four is born to a foreign mother, twice the level of 1997, when Labour came to power. Conservative MP James Clappison said: ‘The Labour Government has left us with significant challenges after an unprecedented wave of inward migration.
‘The pressures, I’m sure, are being felt all over the place including in the NHS. I fully support the present Government’s proposals to cap migration.’
Despite the burgeoning birth rates, Ealing Hospital denies that its maternity services are under strain. Yet the Royal College of Midwives recently warned that maternity units across the country were ‘teetering on the brink’ under the pressure of rising birth rates. And some mothers have complained about being left alone during labour at Ealing Hospital.
Father Paul at the Polish Catholic Community Centre in the borough said he had spoken to many new mothers who were unhappy about their experience at Ealing Hospital. He said: ‘Some women say it is not very good and that the service they would receive in Poland would be better. ‘Doctors are involved much earlier in their pregnancy in Poland and the service is more complex and detailed.’
In July 2008, watchdogs at the Healthcare Commission rated Ealing Hospital’s maternity unit as one of the weakest in the country. It put the unit in the bottom fifth of hospitals for childbirth and ante-natal services, placing it in the ‘least well performing’ category.
However, the service has improved in recent years, according to the new health regulator, the Care Quality Commission. Results of its survey published in December 2010, rated Ealing’s maternity unit 7.8 out of 10, on a par with most NHS Trusts in the country.
A spokeswoman for Ealing Hospital NHS Trust said the hospital catered for a diverse borough and that it was ‘no surprise’ that a high proportion of mothers at its ¬maternity unit were from outside the UK. And she said that a team of translators were on hand to help foreign mothers.
She said: ‘As with the rest of the UK, the Trust has seen a steady increase in the birth rate during the last few years. As with other hospital Trusts that serve diverse populations, clinical staff have access to support workers and systems that aid communication with patients.
‘The maternity services at Ealing Hospital NHS Trust are not under strain and the Trust has achieved and maintains good staff-to-mother ratios in the maternity department. ‘Between 2006 and 2011, the Trust employed a further 32 midwives as a response to increased demand for maternity services and to improve staff-to-mother ratios.’
A joyful day… and, oh, what a rebuke to the sour-faced whiners of the British Left
For one glorious, uplifting, joyful day it was as if the everyday world had been faded out from the video screen and another picture altogether had taken its place.
Gone were the things that grind us down, terrify us, bore us rigid or turn us off altogether.
The economic crisis, war, voting reform, venal politicians and their idiotic name-calling, the endless litany of official incompetence, the vulgarity and ugliness of TV voyeurism and binge-drinking, the habitual cynicism and grey-faced indifference of the public in the face of all this: it all vanished from view.
Instead, there was quite simply an explosion of public joy at the wedding of Prince William to Kate Middleton. Britain beamed, cheered, laughed, gasped, threw its collective hat into the air and choked with emotion.
And this was not merely generous-minded delight at the happiness of the new Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
It was an eruption of feeling that some would have had us believe had vanished for ever: a profound affection and support for the monarchy — and for the Britain that it embodies.
For me, as I’m sure for many others, what brought a lump to the throat was not just the poignant spectacle of Prince William, the casualty of the breakdown of his parents’ marriage, receiving his radiant bride in the very place where as a teenager he had stood by his mother’s coffin.
It was also the roar of approval that went up from the huge crowds outside Westminster Abbey when he and his bride uttered the words ‘I will’.
It was the enormous cheer for the Queen as she stepped out of her car at the Abbey door. And it was the full-throated singing of the National Anthem by the throng that stretched down the Mall.
Some would have us believe that it is all over for the monarchy. They paint it as the anachronistic, class-ridden and discredited residue of a country that must shed its history, traditions and very identity in the interests of multiculturalism, diversity and equality.
Last Friday showed up this claim for the unpleasant piece of wish-fulfilment that it is. For the reported million or so who turned out to line the streets, and the many millions more gulping with emotion over their TV screens, were not some ideological fantasy of social engineering but the real people of Britain.
And they want what the British people have always wanted: a monarchy that reflects a collective image of themselves and of their country that they can admire.
That includes characteristics they yearn for (although maybe cannot always achieve): a happy family life, stoicism in the face of adversity, courage and selflessness, duty and sobriety, and the sense of sharing in a worthy collective national project. Only the monarchy, standing as it does above and beyond politics, can sustain this benign projection of national aspiration.
Which is why, although it embodies the particular history and traditions of these islands, it gives people from diverse cultures and faiths something uniquely valuable with which they can all connect.
In a society which appears to be creating more and more that painfully divides us, the monarchy is the one institution that actually unites the nation.
And so the crowds were roaring their approval of a ceremony, a monarchy and a nation steeped in ancient tradition.
Sure, they want to see it adapt to a changing world. They want a monarchy which at one and the same time is regal and with which they can identify. And the new Princess William gave them exactly what they craved.
Her appearance was perfectly judged: that stunning dress, demure and exquisite yet at the same time grand and traditional; her poise as to the manner born and her ordinary family background and lifestyle.
What she exuded was a regal serenity; whether the result of studied artifice or natural grace, it is the quality associated with the Queen Mother and the Queen herself.
If that calm dignity continues, she will become the ‘rock’ not merely of her husband’s life but of the monarchy itself. No wonder Prince Charles reportedly said of his new daughter-in-law that the Royal Family was lucky to have her.
But it wasn’t just the bride. Everything that day was perfectly judged. In a society now mired in the mediocre and the philistine, this was a spectacle of soaring beauty and splendour to lift even unknowing hearts.
And only Britain could do this. Only Britain has the history and tradition; only Britain can stage such a pageant, to the wonderment and admiration of the rest of the world.
So it was that people suddenly experienced an almost-forgotten emotion: being proud to be British.
Not the synthetic Britishness of serial banalities which Labour politicians periodically try to create. This was the real thing, explicitly identified with Britain’s particular history, tradition and religion.
For here was one of the most striking aspects of that day. We are repeatedly told that Britain has now left religion far behind. And similarly, traditional marriage is said to be a thing of the past.
But last Friday, people in this apparently godless nation were held spellbound by a wedding ceremony which was explicitly not just religious but Christian.
What was even more notable was the special prayer composed by the happy couple themselves. For in this they prayed for help to focus on the important things in life, to serve and to help the needy — all ‘in the spirit of Jesus’.
This was in effect an explicit dedication of themselves to a life of service to the nation on behalf of the Christian institution of the monarchy.
What a massive rebuke all this was to the Left — those sour-faced whiners and whingers who have tried so hard to destroy the nation, its traditions and the faith upon which these rest.
Surely, you might think, only someone with a heart of granite could rain on this uplifting parade?
Step forward, right on cue, the Guardian’s Polly Toynbee, who is mortified that anyone might conclude from all the gaiety that Britain is not actually some benighted hell whose cowed populace is ground beneath the heels of the upper class (of which she herself happens to be such an illustrious member) and thus similarly consumed by her own hatred of the monarchy.
And so she sneers at the wedding as Britain’s ‘Marie Antoinette moment’, and complains that the picture of the nation painted by this day of celebration is merely ‘a grand illusion, the old conspiracy to misrepresent us to ourselves’.
Ah yes, the Left-wingers’ illiberal belief that no view contrary to their own can ever have any validity. At least Marie Antoinette said of the people ‘Let them eat cake’. Ms Toynbee appears to think the people are too stupid even to know what cake is.
Not for the first time, the Left has been caught flat-footed by the people whose cause it claims to represent, but whom it actually holds in such contempt.
For a day, Britain wore a huge smile on its face. Of course, this may soon fade as grinding reality resumes. But that smile has told us that the great heart of Britain — the authentic Britain, the one defined by a thousand years of history and more — still beats as strongly as ever.
Not one but two marriages were celebrated last Friday: between the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and between the monarchy and the British people. Our constitutional vandals should take note. This wedding changed something in the political ether — and for the better.
Being too PC led us to shelter terrorists, says British ex-minister
A former Labour minister admitted today that political correctness had led Britain to offer shelter to violent extremists.
Kim Howells, a former Foreign Office minister, said Tony Blair’s government and other administrations had been afraid to criticise the conduct of radical preachers and others because they feared being accused of racism.
He said the policy had been pursued even though there was plenty of intelligence about the “evil” intent of such extremists and that it was only reversed after the 7/7 bombings. Mr Howells also said that he had been unable to find a single imam willing to say publicly that suicide bombers would go to hell. He further criticised a reluctance in Muslim communities to condemn the “murderous actions” of terrorists.
His comments came as a leaked diplomatic cable, published today by WikiLeaks, revealed Britain had been warned years before the London bombings to stop giving asylum to “very dangerous” terrorists.
The cable, sent by a former military attaché to the Algerian embassy in Washington on July 12 2005, told US diplomats that Britain had allowed extremists to raise money for terrorist causes.
“Did the English consider the risks of allowing Londonistan to develop?” the cable states. “The British thought that sheltering terrorists was a good solution, but they did not realise that one can never align oneself with the devil, and they did precisely that for years and years.”
In a BBC interview today, Mr Howells admitted that the criticism was justified.
British education boss makes it ‘faster and simpler’ to sack bad teachers
Incompetent teachers who use ‘notorious dodges’ to keep their jobs will be ejected from the classroom under radical new plans, Michael Gove announced yesterday. Speaking at the National Association of Head Teachers annual conference the Education Secretary said he would make it ‘faster and simpler’ for heads to sack bad teachers.
And he pledged to curb the underhand tactics used by bad teachers to cling on to their jobs. The two main ‘notorious dodges’ were stated as getting signed off sick and launching legal action against heads for bullying and intimidation.
The ruses can extend the time it takes to sack bad staff by years. Mr Gove wants this to reduced to a few months. Mr Gove’s new measures to cull incompetent teachers are set to be announced within weeks.
Addressing delegates at the Brighton conference, he said: ‘There are some underperforming teachers and it’s your responsibility to pick up the pieces. ‘Some are not pulling their weight or performing how they should in the class room.
‘I will be outlining new measures to manage out of the profession those people who should not be teaching.’ Speaking after the conference he added: ‘We will make it faster and simpler and we will deal with some of the most notorious dodges used by poor teachers.’
The measures are the latest in a string of reforms to boost teaching standards. They include raising the bar on qualifications needed to enter the profession and a review of standards against which teachers can be judged.
Mr Hobby, General Secretary of the NAHT, said elaborate ruses used by teachers to avoid the sack resulted in heads spending too much time managing bad staff. He added: ‘Where there is one underperforming teacher, there are too many.’ Mr Gove spoke after NAHT delegates overwhelming voted – with 99.6% in favour – for the first time in their history 100–year history, to ballot for strike action over pensions. The delegates represent the leaders of 28,000 primary and secondary schools in England.
Millions of children will be shut out of schools when the action takes place in the autumn term. And the walkouts are set to form part of a wave of strikes starting in action by the National Union of Teachers and the Association of Teachers and Lecturers in June.
The planned action puts teachers on a collision course with the Government over changes to public sector pensions. Amendments proposed by Lord Hutton call for final salary schemes to be replaced by average salary, a later retirement age of 68 and increased contributions for diminished returns.
Mr Gove, seeking to appease teachers, said they were in a unique position within the public sector and would not have to accept all changes. He said they had made an ‘unwritten compact’ with Government to work for low pay on the condition they receive generous pensions. And he pledged to negotiate and work with teachers to get a fair deal.
Delegates also voted for a boycott over Sats tests for 600,000 primary school pupils in 2012 if the Government review of exams does not lead to the scrapping of the tests.
In a scathing attack on Mr Gove, Mr Hobby said increasing mountains of Government targets and league tables are ruining children’s education and turning youngsters into ‘statistical fodder’.
There is a new lot of postings by Chris Brand just up — on his usual vastly “incorrect” themes of race, genes, IQ etc.