The former finance director of North Stoke Primary Care Trust who presided as the body plunged into £6million of debt and was subsequently suspended from her £85,000-a-year post on full pay for 18 months has also received a “golden handshake” of over £30,000 on quitting, today’s The Sentinel reports.
Senior politicians said that they were “disappointed” that the money paid to Karen English was not spent on frontline services as it was finally revealed in the PCT’s accounts that English was paid somewhere between £30,000-£35,000 on her departure.
Rewarding incompetence with lump sums of taxpayers’ money looks like particularly reckless behaviour when set against the testimonies of patients from Stoke who have had substandard, and in some cases truly lamentable, treatment due to the PCT’s financial situation.
The red-tape that meant that this woman could sit at home for a year and a half on £85,000-per-year and then qualify for compensation is not only nonsensical but also costly to enforce in itself.
The ambiguous procedure that leads to taxpayers’ money being carelessly squandered like this needs to be replaced with a return to common-sense, meaning that if someone in a position of authority makes costly mistakes they are dismissed with immediate effect rather than allowed to siphon more and more money from the public purse of a organization that they helped to financially cripple.