Fat cats demand pay rise without missing a beat

February 06, 2008 12:56 PM

On Friday the Mid Staffordshire General Hospitals NHS Trust, covering Stafford and Cannock’s main hospitals, was given ‘Foundation Trust’ status and already the executives in charge are looking to hike their pay up by as much as 154% (Express and Star).

The Trust chair, Toni Brisby, who can work as few as three-and-a-half days a week for her £18,000 per-year salary has clearly spied an opportunity to cash in and is hoping that new governors will agree she deserves more than double – £40,000 per-year  – for her mini-working week. Will her work load be doubling? I very much doubt it!

Raining_moneyShe isn’t alone though, she is joined by a veritable flock of circling vultures.

Vice-chairman Gerald Hindley’s pay would rise from £5,900 to £15,000 as audit chairman, that’s a huge 154%, and the Trust’s three other non-executive directors would also see their pay packets massively inflated by 103% from £5,900 to £12,000. I should point out that these are people who only have to put in two-and-a-half days work in an entire month.

This deplorable situation actually gets worse when you hear their paltry justification for requesting so much more cash. Vice-Chair Rod Hammersmith is quoted as saying that they looked at how much executives at other foundation trusts are paid and asked to ‘up’ theirs accordingly.

That’s right, these people aren’t getting pay increases because they’ve worked very hard, they’ve been very successful or the Trust is rolling in money and can’t get rid of it quick enough – these measures have only been proposed because they’ve seen that potentially they can siphon a lot more money now they have Foundation Trust status. With a complete disregard for taxpayers, and indeed patients, they’ve resolved to try their luck and tap the well.

To expect your pay to double, and in some cases almost triple, at the expense of ordinary hard-working taxpayers for little-to-no extra effort is a complete affront. If taxpayers’ must fork this money out of their pockets then it should be going towards medicines and care for patients, and to prop up our flagging NHS services, not to opportunist non-executive directors who work the absolute minimum amount of days for the absolute maximum amount of money.

A decision on whether these pay rises will come into force has been deferred until 20th March. I do urge you to write to the Stafford Edition of the Express and Star at the below address:

Stafford office
Bridge Street, Stafford ST16 2HJ.
01785 252307

And why not write to the Trust Board themselves?:

Stafford Hospital
Weston Road 
ST16 3SA

In our 'Rewards for Failure' paper published in December, this trust (before foundation status) was responsible for one of the worst rankings for hospital acquired infections and yet their Chief Executive, Martin Yeates, was on a princely £130,000 a-year. Now the non-executive directors want further financial recognition despite this failure.

I do hope that you will take the time to register your discontent, particularly if you live in the area. It’s important our message is loud and clear – tax pounds should not be used to subsidize the greed of executives.

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