Health bosses' salaries increase by 300%

Thursday, 10 December, 2009

COSTS of health bosses' salaries in Suffolk have increased by 300 per cent over the last six years, it can be exclusively revealed today.

While management costs have soared, money spent paying for nurses, midwifes and health visiting staff has only increased by 58 per cent, causing outrage among campaigners.

The figures were revealed in a response to a parliamentary question by MP for Bury St Edmunds David Ruffley about costs of salaries and show that while in 2002/03 cash spent on management salaries amounted to nearly £2.5million, in 2008/9, this increased to more than £8m.

Mr Ruffley said: 'Time and again I have spoken out at the need to see resources reach the frontline of our NHS and yet year upon year more money is poured into red tape, management and administrative work.

'I have the utmost respect for the hard working nurses, doctors and support staff throughout Suffolk's NHS but they must get the resources they need to do their job. At the moment far too much of taxpayers' money never reaches the frontline and is swallowed up by backroom bureaucracy.'

Prue Rush, local health campaigner, said: 'They cannot justify that kind of increase. It must be sickening for those working on the frontline to know how much is spent on management costs. The question is could they demonstrate there has been a 300 per cent improvement in health services so their increase is value for money?'

Julian Herbert, director of finance for NHS Suffolk, said: 'It is absolutely right that we continue to invest the largest possible portion of money into the hospitals and primary care services, and we are committed to that. We spent an extra £46.7million on additional health services 2008/09 for Suffolk patients, compared to 2007/08.

'We are still a relatively new organisation and our growth is in line with our peers and reflects our increasing responsibilities for driving up quality and access to local health services. Working with hospital staff, dentists, family doctors and other healthcare professionals, NHS Suffolk staff - many of whom are clinicians, or former clinicians - have achieved a great deal to make improvements in healthcare in the last three years.'