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NHS bosses get recession-busting pay rises

NHS trust bosses were given 6.4% pay rises last year, well ahead of hospital doctors, nurses, lower-grade managers and GPs, who received a zero uplift for the third year in a row.

A report on pay on NHS boadrooms found the average salary for foundation trust chief executives - the best paid bosses - was £157,000 for the year to March 2008, up 7.6%. The highest paid executive was Robert Naylor of University College Hospitals NHS trust, who earned £232,500, the report by Incomes Data Services found.

PC0 chief execs pay, which unlike other trusts is subject to Department of Health restrictions, averaged £132,500.

The highest-paid PCO chief executive was Brian Skinner, who was employed by Southampton City PCT until late 2008 on a salary of £182,500, while other trusts with relatively high-paid chief executives were Leeds, North Tyneside and Hampshire.

Bexley PCT Bexley Care Trust was at the other end of the spectrum, paying its chief executive a salary of £82,500. Westminster PCT was the only other trust that paid its chief executive less than £100,000.

Steve Tatton, Editor of the IDS NHS Boardroom Pay Report 2009, said the earnings of NHS trust directors were continuing to grow at a faster pace than the rest of the economy.

'In the current climate the remuneration of NHS directors, like any top executives working in the public sector, is subject to intense public scrutiny, particularly when unease about the widening gap between senior executives and the rest of the workforce is growing in both the public and private sector.'

The report also found that PCTs were increasingly ignoring the pay framework meant to govern their salaries and awarding ‘recruitment and retention' bonuses to keep their pay rates competitive.

Steve Tatton said: "Many PCTs view the existing pay frame as too restrictive and are increasingly breaching these salary guidelines.'

The money has been rolling in for NHS chief executives, a new report has found Median pay levels1 Median pay levels of English hospital trust executive directors by trust type

Board positionAcute and specialist £paAmbulance £paMental health £paAll hospital trusts £paPrimary care trust
Chief executive142,500132,500130,000137,500132,500
Facilities director87,500-82,50087,50072,500
Finance director107,50097,50097,500102,50097,500
HR director87,50087,50082,50085,00077,750
Medical director45,00092,50087,50057,50082,500
Nursing director90,000-82,50087,50082,500
Operations director93,00082,50087,50090,00087,500
Performance and informatics director87,50082,50080,00082,50082,500
Service development/delivery/
improvement director
Strategy/corporate development director97,50085,00080,00087,50087,500
Source: Incomes data services

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