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Latest News - Nhs Croydon Pay Three Interims 630k While Axing Jobs

Thursday Nov 3

Cost of Interims comes under fire

NHS Croydon pay three Interim Managers 630k while axing jobs

An Interim Manager is being paid 250,000 pa (circa 1000 a day) by NHS Croydon while jobs are axed and A&E departments are threatened with closure.

Jessica Brittin is one of three Interim Managers who cost the health trust 630,000 last year.

The trio were recruited at the same time as 189 people lost their jobs, as NHS South West London strives to save 64.6 million by 2013.

The organisation, which manages five primary care trusts (PCT), blamed Government health reforms, saying uncertainty over the future of PCTs had made it "difficult to recruit senior managers into posts that are unlikely to exist in the near future" and that interim staff were "paid to carry this instability".

The Government wants GP-led commissioning groups to replace PCTs by 2013, but Croydon Central MP Gavin Barwell told the Advertiser: "I think your readers will find it incredible that, in the current economic climate, it is impossible to find people to do these jobs unless you pay them more than the Prime Minister."

Figures published in the Croydon NHS annual report reveal senior manager Jessica Brittin cost the trust 250,000 in 2010-11.

Ms Brittin was initially recruited through an agency as Interim director of commissioning and deputy chief executive.

Once a permanent appointment had been made, she then became urgent care project director in June 2010 an Interim role she still fulfils.

Another Interim manager, David Holden, cost the trust 190,000 last year after he was recruited through headhunters Green Park.

Again the appointment was temporary but, in June 2010, it was decided the role should not be permanently filled.

Mr Holden, who runs a healthcare consultancy firm in Stockport, then moved to another interim position as project manager of logistics, a post he held until March 2011.

NHS South West London said Mr Holden had overseen the vital role of "taking the organisation through the logistical impact of the restructure".

A third Interim boss, Peter Pentecost, programme director for board assurance, cost the trust 190,000 in 2010-11.

Unison regional officer Michael Walker said the money spent on Ms Brittin alone could have paid for ten nurses.

He added: "I am sure most people will be shocked to learn of the huge sums paid to individual managers, while dedicated NHS staff are losing their jobs.

"We are certainly not in this together."

Mr Barwell said he would raise the issue with Health Secretary Andrew Lansley, while Croydon North MP Malcolm Wicks slammed the expenditure.

He said: "At a time when many people have lost their jobs and those who haven't have seen their salaries reduced in real terms, such scandalous expenditure really does stick two fingers up to the decent people of Croydon."

The annual report lists the money spent on the three interim managers as "salary", though NHS South West London said payments to interim staff included pension contributions, holiday pay, VAT and "an agency fee".

In line with Government policy, NHS Croydon has reduced its management costs which, its annual report states, "unfortunately meant redundancies for some of our managerial and administrative staff".

The trust made eight redundancies and shed 16 other staff in 2010-11.

Interim managers Jessica Brittin, David Holden and Peter Pentecost cost NHS Croydon 630,000 in 2010-11. The trio were paid more than Prime Minister David Cameron (142,500), Croydon Council chief executive Jon Rouse (195,000) and the trust's own chief executive Caroline Taylor (145,000)

NHS South West London controls five PCTS Croydon, Sutton and Merton, Richmond and Twickenham, Kingston and Wandsworth

Figures show these trusts made 47 compulsory redundancies in 2010/11, in total axing 189 jobs.

Source: www.thisiscroydontoday.co.uk - 13 October 2011

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