Anger at surge in NHS managers

AN MP has accused the NHS of frittering money away after a report revealed an increase of more than 12% in senior managers in Essex.Harwich MP Douglas Carswell said the money should be spent on patients, many of whom felt let down by the health service.

AN MP has accused the NHS of frittering money away after a report revealed an increase of more than 12% in senior managers in Essex.

Harwich MP Douglas Carswell said the money should be spent on patients, many of whom felt let down by the health service.

The Essex Workforce Performance Report showed that between September 2004 and September 2005 there was a 12.6% increase in senior managers.

For financial reasons, the Department of Health and the Treasury state the national average workforce growth should be less than 2%.


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In the report, seven groups with a significantly higher than average increase were highlighted.

The only one with a higher percentage increase than senior managers was ambulance paramedics at 23.14%.

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Mr Carswell said: “I am beginning to understand why it is that people who write to me complain that they are not getting the treatment they need fast enough, if at all.

“Yesterday morning I met with a woman who was very upset, her husband is in the early stages of Alzheimer's and he can't get a treatment because the National Institute for Clincial Excellence (NICE) has said given the amount of money it would cost, it is not worth it.

“I think that is a shocking decision in light of this report.

“Now I am beginning to understand where this money is really going and this to me seems to illustrate that money which should be going to treat patients is being frittered away.

“I have never, ever thought the local NHS has a shortage of local bureaucrats but it does seem to have a shortage of quick, efficient, effective treatments for patients who need them and this report suggests why this might be.”

Mr Carswell added that since his election one year ago he had been shocked by how many people had approached him about problems with the health service.

“It is commonplace for people to be disappointed with the standard of service they are getting and there is a particular problem for elderly people who have spent their lives paying taxes, and spent their lives believing that when they needed the treatment that their taxes had paid for the local NHS would be there for them, and it comes as quite a shock when it isn't,” he said.

Mr Carswell added that he had been visited by representatives from the Clacton branch of the Parkinson's Disease Society who said they were still waiting for a neurologist who left Clacton hospital in November 2001 to be replaced.

Wendy Smith, director of communications for Essex Strategic Health Authority, said: “At the moment we are going through two major mergers to reduce senior management.

“The strategic health authority is merging with two other strategic health authorities in the east of England.

“With three coming down to one, that will reduce senior management.

“The primary care trusts are also going from 13 to five and in total these two mergers will save around £7.5million.

“Taking £7.5 million out of senior management and some administrative costs will mean this money going into patient care.”

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