The NHS is hiring 42 new chief executives who will be paid up to £270,000 each, raising fears about how the new health and social care tax will be spent.
Tom Williams metro.co.uk
Job adverts for CEOs who will lead new integrated care boards across the country were posted at the start of the month.
The NHS has defended the move, saying it is reducing the number of boards from more than 100 and the new recruits will be responsible for the health of hundreds of thousands of people.
But MPs have expressed concerns about the appointments, who will all earn £233,000 on average – more than the Prime Minister – and collectively cost around £9million.
This week all working people were asked to foot the £36bn bill to cover the increased costs of caring for sick and elderly people over the next three years.
A 1.25% hike on national insurance will raise an extra £12bn but broke a Conservative manifesto commitment. It is intended to fix a massive backlog in the NHS caused by Covid.
MPs passed the new legislation in the Commons last night despite widespread discontent among the Tory backbenches.
The new roles will be required to lead the delivery of ‘joined-up’ services across the NHS and social care.
Adverts posted online say successful candidates will need to be ‘politically astute’ and ‘actively champion diversity, inclusion, and equality of opportunity for all’.
Experts have warned there may be little money left for social care as the NHS could ‘swallow up’ much of the extra £12bn being made available.
The Institute for Fiscal Studies said the health service would continue to require most of the new revenue in the coming years, despite plans to divert much of the cash to social care after October 2023.
The health secretary Sajid Javid promised MPs yesterday that he will be ‘watchful for any waste or wokery’ from the NHS, according to the Daily Telegraph.
But criticising the new CEO positions, one Tory MP told the paper: ‘People on low salaries will have difficulty understanding why they are having to pay significantly more tax partly to pay mega salaries for these new posts.’
Care minister Helen Whately has promised the Government will be keeping a ‘really close eye’ on how extra funding will be spent by the NHS.
Asked on Sky News about the new CEO roles, Ms Whately said: ‘People working in the NHS in those kinds of roles are taking on a lot of responsibility, they’re big jobs, and they’re moving from having more senior managers in the NHS to fewer through doing this, the NHS reckons that it needs to have that level of pay to have the right people in those jobs.
‘But I do think the Government keeps a really close eye on making sure that NHS money is spent carefully and appropriately because we want as much of the funding as possible to go to the front line.’
An NHS spokesperson said: ‘Overall, there will be fewer statutory boards – going from over 100 to 42 – and so the people in these roles will have responsibility for the health of thousands more people.’