In the news we’re hearing two different sides of the NHS. Purse strings are being being drastically tightened on NHS Trust budgets whilst the top NHS earners’ own take home pay is healthily growing year on year.
The fat cuts
NHS Trusts are being urged to make efficiency savings of 6 to 7% per year over a period of 5 years. So over the 5 years, the overall savings over the period, compounded, becomes savings of 37%. With the burden on healthcare growing, one has to wonder whether the targets are realistic.
Will setting the bar deliberately high lead to:
- Better attempts by Trusts to spend efficiently or sacrificing of quality of care?
- Will we see more examples of NHS Trusts blacklisting certain specialist diabetes drugs and cutting specialist services?
The fat cats
Meanwhile, the Telegraph have named the NHS ‘fat cats’ who are earning more than the Prime Minister himself. The list includes about 40 Chief Executives of NHS Trusts who have salaries in excess of £200,000.
Are these salaries justified is a natural question?
There’s some sense in rewarding CEOs with large salaries, to keep the talent pool in the NHS. On the other side of the argument, is putting money as such of a focus the right incentive? One could argue that lowering these salaries might put off prospective CEOs who may be in it more for the money than the good of the public.
A further thought is that these NHS top earners are receiving significantly more than even the prime Minister, whose salary of £142,500 is positively dwarfed by the Interim chief Executive of Monitor, David Bennett who takes home £282,500 –that’s nigh on double the PM’s. If the Prime Minister’s salary is deliberately kept to sensible levels, should not the salaries of NHS chiefs follow suit?
What are your thoughts?
Looking at the figures, one can see where an easy £50,000 or so saving could be made.
Is it right that NHS top brass should be earning significantly more than Government ministers?
Or, on the contrary, would drastic salary cuts only push away the people best able to guide the NHS towards the efficiency targets?
What do you think?