King’s Lynn hospital boss defends £100k+ pay packets for 104 staff

GV of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital , King's Lynn
GV of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital , King's Lynn
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The boss of Lynn’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital has insisted that high rates of pay for senior staff are justified, despite criticism from a campaign group.

Figures for the 2013-14 financial year, which were released by the Taxpayers’ Alliance this week, showed 104 staff at the Gayton Road site had been paid £100,000 or more. Of those, eight are non-clinical employees.

Twenty staff received £150,000 or more while three earned over £200,000.

The figures are lower than those for the James Paget Hospital in Gorleston, where 107 staff received at least £100,000 with 38 getting £150,000 or more.

But both had more people earning over £200,000 than the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital, though more than 300 staff are paid at least £100,000 there.

QEH chief executive Dorothy Hosein said yesterday: “It is not appropriate to comment on individual staff salaries.

“Our rates of pay for medical staff are completely consistent with NHS pay scales and comparable to those of NHS Trusts across the country.

“Additional income can be earned in a number of ways including responsibility allowances, working extra shifts and national and local pay awards. Some pay awards are not paid for by individual trusts but are part of a national NHS Clinical Excellence Award Scheme.

“We have many hard working clinicians who go above and beyond to deliver excellent care to our patients.

“Their pay reflects their years of training and expertise and their ongoing commitment to both the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and the NHS.”

But the report does cover part of the period when the hospital was in special measures, having been deemed inadequate by inspectors in a report published in October 2013. The trust was only removed from that category in the summer.

Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the Taxpayers’ Alliance, said: “No one begrudges paying doctors and nurses well for the tough jobs that they do, but it’s galling to see bosses at failing hospitals continuing to rake in the cash.

“It’s an insult to taxpayers, but it’s even worse for the patients who have suffered because of mismanagement, and worse.

“The rewards-for-failure culture is rife in the NHS and it must be stamped out as a matter of urgency.”