Mo Mowlam slams NHS executives pay rises

22 Oct 98
Northern Ireland secretary Mo Mowlam has put pressure on health and social services chief executives to take only modest pay rises this year. The total pay bill for the province's health service chiefs rose by 13% in 1997/98 far in excess of the 2.65% a

23 October 1998

The news will further embarrass the government, coming three weeks after it was revealed that English trusts awarded their chiefs an average rise of 10% in 1997/98.

Trusts' annual reports confirmed that chief executives' pay rises ranged from £1,000 to £26,000. Ms Mowlam said: 'I think it's scandalous and I've asked the health minister to look into it. There is very little I can do, but it's a worry.'

She ordered health minister John McFall to demand an explanation from trust chairmen. He said: 'Pay for managers should be fair and reasonable reward for the work which they do.' But he added that chiefs' salary increases should be comparable to similar jobs in the Northern Irish public sector. |

The government has demanded that the salaries of all senior NHS managers should be pegged at 2.7%. Although the government is exerting pressure on the hospital trusts, they are free to award whatever pay rises they think appropriate.

The NHS Confederation urged its members to co-operate in providing information to the minister. But it defended the rises. 'The job of a trust chief executive is a complex one, particularly in Northern Ireland with the added responsibility of social services.'

Many trusts in the province employ more than 3,000 staff, ranging from doctors and nurses to social workers and professionals allied to medicine.


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