News that the chief executive of a struggling NHS trust earned a pay package of £1.26 million has been described as “appalling” by regional MEP Jonathan Arnott.
Tricia Hart runs the South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust on a salary between £220,000 and £225,000, with added pension benefits worth up to £1.04 million.
Yet under her management, the Trust’s financial deficit grew from £2.9m to £4.4m in 2013/14 and it has also been admonished for failing to meet targets on infection control.
Ms Hart’s remuneration package was revealed as part of a wider investigation into “fat cat” salaries in the public sector by the Daily Mail.
Mr Arnott, UKIP Euro-MP said: “I’m appalled by this and I’d be astonished if anyone other than public sector fat cats would think any differently.
“This is an outrageous amount of money being diverted away from actual health care and instead into the pockets of those who are effectively administrators.
“An entry level student nurse starts on a little more than £21,000, so that could have paid towards 60 more nurses to provide care for patients.
“It is no good the NHS complaining about needing money when vast amounts of its budget goes on scandalously sky high wages for non-clinical staff.
“If we are to keep the NHS free at the point of access and cherished for the institution it is, we urgently need to look at the ridiculous sums of money being diverted away from patient care,” said Mr Arnott.