Management costs at NHS trust rise �650k

A THIRD health organisation in less than a week has revealed a large rise in yearly management costs.

According to the Suffolk Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust’s (SMHPT) latest annual report, management costs rose by nearly �650,000 – from �4,264,000 in 2008/09 to �4,903,000 in 2009/10. Over two years, it has risen by just over �1m.

Salaries of the top bosses have also risen, such as chief executive Mark Halladay, whose salary has gone up from between �110,000 to �115,000, to between �120,000 to �125,000.

Earlier this week it was revealed that the East of England Strategic Health Authority’s management costs rose by �1.6m and Ipswich Hospital’s increase was �700,000.

In total the management costs increased across all three organisations for 2009/10 by nearly �3m.

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Last night SMHPT bosses defended the rise, claiming it was down to extra fees involved in the construction of the new mental health hospital in Ipswich.

However, health campaigners claimed the overall increase across the board had “got out of control”.

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Ben Gummer, MP for Ipswich, who campaigns for health issues across the county, said: “Like everyone else I am appalled at the waste of money across the NHS in management and bureaucracy and it is clear from these latest figures from the mental health trust that the demand of the previous government to meet internal targets and audit procedures was taking money away from the frontline.

“I’m still waiting to get answers in the offensive pay arrangements for the new chief executive of NHS Suffolk.”

Suffolk health campaigner Peter Mellor added: “Management costs have got out of control. Those in senior positions in the NHS, particularly the Department of Health, have sanctioned increases which are not acceptable and the latest one is no different.

“You cannot blame those who take the pay awards but those who decided them should be ashamed of themselves and be forced to live without a pension for wasting public money.

“They keep saying they will reduce management costs but they keep going up.”

A spokeswoman for SMHPT said: “This increase is largely due to the inclusion of clinical management costs, statutory and internal audit charges and costs relating to the construction of the trust’s new inpatient facilities in Ipswich which were not included in the previous year’s figure as they were accounted for separately.

“Together, these areas contribute more than �600,000 to the 2009/10 costs and, if excluded so as to give a direct year-on-year comparison, indicate that there was no overall rise.

“Management costs also include the costs of the trust directors and non-executive directors and administration. Directors’ salaries were last year set by the Trust’s Remuneration Committee, chaired by a non-executive director.

“In 2010/11, none of the directors will receive a pay rise. All in all, the cost of the board increased by just 2% from �1,081,000 in 2008/09 to �1,103.000 in 2009/10.

“Suffolk Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust is committed to reducing management costs, and this is one of the key drivers behind its proposal to merge with Norfolk and Waveney Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust. If the merger goes ahead, there would only be one board for the new Trust rather than two, as is the case at present.”

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