£370,000 for the NHS chief who never left

With the NHS no longer being handed inflation busting budget increases, you might expect a certain amount of belt tightening. Yet the world’s fifth largest employer continues to squander cash with another eye watering pay off for a former Deputy Chief Executive who never actually left.

The scandalous pay off was exposed in the Times as part of a revised list of 36 health chiefs paid a total of £10.2 million when 161 organisations were abolished under last year’s NHS reforms.

Rob Cooper of the Yorkshire and the Humber Strategic Health Authority was given a golden goodbye of £370,000 when the body was abolished. However, by then he had already found a new directorial role in a London NHS trust on another undoubtedly generous pay packet. NHS terms and conditions of service oblige staff to wait just four weeks before taking up new roles in the NHS if they are to be eligible for redundancy payments.

It is also in direct contrast with the words of NHS boss David Nicholson who has pleaded with managers to hold off for at least six months. But it doesn’t look like anyone’s listening. This certainly isn’t the first time such huge payoffs have been made either. Other former Chief Executives have received amounts of £290,000 and £340,000 under similar circumstances.

The list also exposes the underestimation of at least seven payments costing taxpayers a further £1 million.

George Osborne made a mistake in ring-fencing the NHS budget. Now he should heed the advice of the likes of Liam Fox and tear the fence down.

This is not the first time we’ve written about the public sector merry-go-round. It remains in full flow in at central and local government levels and it’s high time politicians declare war on this continual, inexcusable waste of taxpayers’ money.

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