David Powles of the Eastern Daily Press and Andrew Hirst of the East Anglian Daily Times report:
Two consultants involved in a “strategic reorganisation” which saw hundreds of jobs axed at the region’s mental health trust, each received payouts worth more than £200,000.
Day five of our five-part series into public sector pay can reveal that the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) spent a total of £20.5m on exit packages between 2011 and 2015, the latest figures available. Some 46 of these payouts cost six-figure sums, including five valued at more than £200,000.
The Campaign to Save Mental Health Services in Norfolk and Suffolk described the scale of the payments as “shocking”.
“We’ve seen too much reward for failure at the top of NSFT,” a spokesman for the campaign said.
“Meanwhile, those who rely on mental health services and front line staff pay the price of underfunding and millions wasted on making staff redundant despite hundreds of vacancies.”
The reorganisation, which came about in 2012 when it was announced the NSFT had to make savings of around £40m from its £220m annual budget over a four year period, has been criticised for the loss of experienced staff. Median staff pay reduced from £26,557 to £22,517 during this period.
However, senior NSFT staff saw their six-figure salaries increase. Former chief executive Aidan Thomas earned £135-£140,000 in 2010/11, whereas the trust confirmed his successor, Michael Scott, is now paid £14,583 a month (£175,000 a year), a rise of 25pc in five years.
Figures provided by the trust show it had 52 staff on £100,000 or more in 2013/14 and 61 a year later.
Several senior staff who worked at the trust during this time have been able to amass pension pots of more than £1m. Hadrian Ball retired from his medical director’s role with a £1.4m pension pot; Mr Thomas’ pension value stood at £1m when he stood down and Mr Scott’s had reached £1.3m by 2014/15.
Mr Ball is also shown on annual reports to have received six figure payments as “other benefits” or fees. The NSFT said this was due to his “split role” of trust medical director and senior practising clinician.
Mr Scott also received “other remuneration” valued at £10,700; £8,000 of this related to a “relocation allowance”, despite the fact that Mr Scott’s previous role was with the Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust, which also has its headquarters in Norwich. A further £2,700 was for leasing a car.
Two senior members of NSFT staff were shown to have worked “off-payroll” in 2014/15, despite the government advising against the practice because of tax concerns.
Click the image below to read the article in full on the EDP website.
The EADT version is available here):