NHS executives enjoy 2% pay rise taking average salary to 74,600 despite freeze on nursing wages
Statistics show senior managers now earn an average of almost 75,000But nurses have taken a real term pay cut because of rising cost of livingRoyal College of Nursing: ‘Staff are being
stretched to breaking point' Figures also show more nursing staff have lost their jobs than managers



17:44 GMT, 23 December 2012

Pay freeze: Nurses have seen a real terms pay cut while executives have enjoyed a two per cent rise

Pay freeze: Nurses have seen a real terms pay cut while executives have enjoyed a two per cent rise

NHS executives have enjoyed a two per cent pay rise over the past year – even though nurses are suffering a pay freeze.

Official statistics show that senior managers, such as finance directors and human resource officers, now earn an average of 74,654. This is up 1,459 from the average figure last September.

The pay rises for bureaucrats come despite the fact that nurses have been suffering a two-year pay freeze since March last year.

Nurses start at 21,000 a year and their average salary is just over 30,000. The pay freeze means that, in real terms, their pay has been cut – because of the rising cost of living.

Separate figures, released following a parliamentary question, indicate that more nursing staff have lost their jobs since the election than managers.

In August of this year, there were 4,544 fewer bureaucrats working in the NHS than there were in August 2010 – many of them walking off with six-figure pay-offs.

But over the same period, the number of qualified nurses, midwives and health visitors plummeted by 4,573.

It means that 29 more frontline nursing staff lost their jobs than administrators during the two year period.

And, to make matters worse, no fewer than 1,341 of the departing managers received redundancy pay-outs of more than 100,000.

The total includes 173 who were paid more than 200,000 when the organisations for which they worked were abolished. In total, almost 1billion has been paid in redundancy packages to managers since the election.

John Lister, of campaign group Health Emergency, said of the pay figures: ‘This is yet another hammer blow to the morale of our nurses.

‘Frontline staff are now working longer hours under extraordinary pressures for no extra pay. Despite that, it is a small band of well-paid execs who are being rewarded with higher wages.’

Dr Peter Carter, chief executive of the Royal College of Nursing, said: ‘Nursing staff are already being stretched to breaking point because of staffing cuts, and on top of that they are seeing their pay being cut in real terms.

‘Chief executives enjoying a significant increase in pay sends completely the wrong message to hard working frontline staff.’

Andrew Gwynne, Labour's health spokesman, said David Cameron is allowing frontline staff to 'take a battering'

Andrew Gwynne, Labour's health spokesman, said David Cameron is allowing frontline staff to 'take a battering'

Earlier this month a damning report by the Care Quality Commission found that many trusts were failing to meet quality standards because they employed too few nursing staff.

Robert Oxley, of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: ‘The NHS needs nurses treating the sick not back-room form fillers.

‘This is yet further evidence that hospital bosses are managing their budgets poorly. They should be protecting the front line while cutting back the bloated bureaucracy.

‘There are necessary savings to be made but it appears NHS management are incapable of taking the right decisions for taxpayers and patients.’

Labour’s health spokesman Andrew Gwynne, who obtained the figures on staffing levels, said the true position was much worse.

He said that once health visitors and midwives are taken out of the picture, the number of nurses has fallen by around 7,000 since the election.

‘The Prime Minister’s boasts about cutting NHS bureaucracy have come to nothing,’ he said. ‘Instead, he’s quietly axed the jobs of thousands more nurses than managers.

‘David Cameron is allowing the front-line of the NHS to take a battering as he cuts the budget. He has wasted 3bn on a re-organisation of the NHS back-office that is adding fresh layers of bureaucracy and damaging patient care.

‘As the NHS haemorrhages nursing staff patients will pay the price of David Cameron’s false promises. Ministers are taking unacceptable risks with standards of patient care. They cannot continue to ignore the warnings from nurses’ and doctors’ leaders.’