More than 60 London hospital chiefs were today revealed to be earning more than the Prime Minister — including one who received £36,000 a year extra to pay his rent.
High earners included a chief executive lured from Australia with a £50,000 “golden hello” and an agency finance chief who cost £275,000 for less than a year’s work. The figures were revealed by an Evening Standard analysis of hospital annual accounts.
It found that some executives are sitting on £1 million pension pots in addition to earning about £250,000 a year or more.
Barts Health chief financial officer Mark Ogden was allowed to claim up to £36,000-a-year expenses for his accommodation — while the trust ran up the biggest debt in NHS history.
Mr Ogden, dubbed “Johnny Vegas” due to his resemblance to the comedian, earned so much at Barts Health in one year that his pay package topped £280,000 — outstripping his boss, chief executive Peter Morris.
His departure in January came as the trust was about to declare an £80 million deficit — a figure predicted to rise next year to £135 million.
He came to Barts in July 2012 from an NHS job in the North-West. In two and a half years there he earned £545,000 in pay on top of £92,657 to cover rent.
In a similar deal, fellow Barts executive Len Richards was paid £58,700 accommodation costs in less than two years. It is believed the pair were flatmates.
Barts, Britain’s biggest NHS trust, was embroiled in similar controversy in June when it emerged interim finance chief Ian Miller was paid, via his private company, £46,800 a month — more than most Barts staff earned in a year.
Dr Ron Singer, a retired GP and chairman of campaign group Newham Save Our NHS, said: “Some managers seem to earn in excess of their worth. There seems no accountability for failure.”
Imperial College Healthcare chief executive Tracey Batten was London’s best-paid NHS boss, with £342,500 in 2014/15 — including a one-off £49,860 to aid her move from Australia.
Since arriving in London Ms Batten, who earns £90,000 more than her predecessor, has been at the heart of a row over a proposed A&E services downgrade at Charing Cross Hospital and the axing of hundreds of beds.
Trusts with numerous executives who earn more than David Cameron’s £142,500 included University College London Hospitals with seven, Barts and Guy’s and St Thomas’ with six, and the Royal Free, King’s College Hospital and Chelsea and Westminster with five. All figures exclude pension contributions.
With two trusts still to publish their annual accounts, the Standard found 64 executives earning more than the Prime Minister.
The executive bill at West Middlesex Hospital in Hounslow included almost £200,000 for since-departed chief Dame Jacqueline Docherty as well as the £280,000 it paid to its interim finance director Jonathan Molyneux.
READ MORECHELSEA AND WESTMINSTER PARTED COMPANY WITH CHIEF EXECUTIVE TONY BELL IN THE WAKE OF A DAMNING INSPECTION BY THE NHS WATCHDOG LAST NOVEMBER BUT PAID HIS £225,000 SALARY IN FULL.
Barts Health said the accommodation deals for Mr Ogden and Mr Richards were unlikely to be repeated, adding: “In lieu of relocation expenses, Mark Ogden’s agreed remuneration package included an allowance towards the cost of renting London accommodation.”
Mr Ogden could not be contacted for comment. Mr Richards, now in Australia, did not respond.
Check the Evening Standard, Ross Lydall, link here: