In some cases, cash-strapped health trusts are hiring temporary executives for hundreds of thousands of pounds, an investigation by The Telegraph has found.
Patients’ groups said the “exorbitant” rates could not be justified, and nursing leaders said the sums were a “kick in the teeth” for junior staff who were refused a one per cent pay rise.
NHS board reports indicate that during 2013-14, 44 “interim” executives were employed on rates of £1,000 a day — the equivalent of £228,000 a year — compared with 24 the year before.
There was an even sharper increase at the top end of the scale. In the last financial year, 22 executives were paid the equivalent of at least £300,000 a year — compared with 11 the year before and just four in 2010-11. In most cases, the payments were not made directly to the managers, but via agencies, which were able to take a share.