Letters: Chris Brandon-King, November 24, 2015

QEH General Views of the outside of the hospital ANL-150525-110941009
QEH General Views of the outside of the hospital ANL-150525-110941009
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I read with interest your report in the Lynn News of November 13 on salaries at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Lynn.

As a member of the QEH Foundation Trust for some years, I have been very interested in the financial situation at the hospital. Your report quotes 20 salaries of over £150,000, with three of over £200,000. From reading the current annual accounts, I can see that the chief executive herself earned £200,000 plus a generous pension. In the light of the lack of progress one asks about her experience in running a multi-million pound organisation? Clearly there are many highly skilled and dedicated members of the medical staff, for whom none of us would begrudge them their salaries.

It is the lack of ‘management’ exhibited by the management board that is so galling. The hospital has gone from an annual surplus of about £4.8 million at the start of 2010 to a deficit of about £15 million shown in the last set of accounts. The hospital has also been put in ‘special measures’ during that time.

What of the board of governors? They are elected to hold the executive to account, by questioning decisions, the lack of progress towards balancing the books and demanding answers. I attended a meeting as an observer some months ago. With the exception of one, or possibly two, “governors”, it was nothing short of an afternoon “jolly” for the 30-plus attendees, to the extent that I walked out in disgust.

My parting shots at last year’s AGM and at that meeting was –“ Slice off at least 10 per cent of the bureaucracy on a top-down basis, and then do the same the following year”; rather like organisations in the private sector have to do to reduce costs!

The members of the executive are raking in substantial salaries on the gravy train, but are clearly not performing! Let’s make sure that it is the medics who get the money, not the pen-pushers in the office!

Chris Brandon-King

Sutton Bridge