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Whittington Hospital boss to get salary worth eight nurses

PUBLISHED: 17:27 07 November 2014 | UPDATED: 10:42 14 November 2014

Chief executive of Whittington Health Simon Pleydell. Picture: Polly Hancock

Chief executive of Whittington Health Simon Pleydell. Picture: Polly Hancock

Archant

The newly appointed chief executive of the trust in charge of the Whittington Hospital will become one of the highest earners in the NHS, it was revealed this week – receiving a salary equivalent to that of eight nurses.

Simon Pleydell, who was announced permanent chief executive of Whittington Health on Wednesday (November 5) after more than six months acting as interim, will receive £190,000 a year for his work at the trust.

The pay is equivalent to eight staff nurses – each earning an average of £23,007 a year – and puts him as one of the top earners in the NHS.

Steve Hitchens, chairman of Whittington Health, justified the salary, saying: “Simon will receive £190,000 annually, with no employer pension contribution.

“Taking this into account, it is in line with what was paid to the previous chief executive [£170,000] and the cost to the Trust therefore remains the same.

“It is important for the Trust to have a strong leadership team. Simon brings with him extensive experience to lead and develop the organisation further and his salary is a reflection of this.”

The announcement comes just weeks after nurses and midwives formed picket lines outside the hospital in Archway, joining national strike action in a dispute over the secretary of state for health, Jeremy Hunt, rejecting a recommendation to give all NHS staff a one per cent pay rise.

The row has increased focus on the difference in pay rises given to frontline staff and senior managers.

According to data from the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC), annual basic pay for senior managers in NHS hospitals and community services grew 12.7 per cent between May 2010 and February 2014.

In contrast, nurses and midwives across the health service have experienced only a 5.1 per cent rise over the same period.

The Royal College of Nursing said the figures “paint a clear picture of a growing gap between the pay of the NHS staff working with patients at the frontline of care, and the salaries of chief executives running the hospitals that employ them”.

It added: “This disparity is having a corrosive effect on the morale of nursing staff.”

Whittington Health said it had sought assurances from the NHS Trust Development Authority that the salary given to Mr Pleydell “remains in line with that of chief executives of comparable trusts”.

The pay is just under six times the average wage of Whittington staff.

For more on this story, see next week’s Ham&High.

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