‘Rich list’ reveals six figure salaries of our public health bosses

Public Health England. Stock image. Picture: ANDREW MATTHEWS/PA WIRE

Public Health England. Stock image. Picture: ANDREW MATTHEWS/PA WIRE - Credit: ANDREW MATTHEWS/PA WIRE

Two public health chiefs in our region received pay packages of more than £150,000 last year, it has emerged.

One of them was Dr Mike Gogarty, director of wellbeing, public health and communities at Essex County Council (ECC).

He picked up a remuneration package of £194,020 in 2017-18, according to council documents – and his salary was £165,087.

Pension contributions and expenses payments make up the rest of his pay packet, ECC bosses said.

Meanwhile Dr Rashmi Shukla, Public Health England (PHE)’s regional director for the east of England and the Midlands, picked up £198,500 in 2017-18, according to figures compiled by the right-wing lobby group Taxpayers’ Alliance (TPA).

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Government documents state her salary as £179,999, although TPA’s analysis of her remuneration package includes a backdated pay award from March 2016 and Clinical Excellence Award cash.

“We hear public health lobbyists on an almost daily tirade for more taxes and regulations, without a thought spared for hard pressed families who will struggle to pay for their ideas,” said John O’Connell, TPA’s chief executive.

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“Taxpayers are also forced to pay for the enormous remuneration packages of those at the top.”

Both Dr Gogarty and Dr Shukla appear on TPA’s ‘rich list’ of more than 200 individuals, including 10 public health officials receiving above £200,000 in remuneration packages, and more than 50 local authority directors on pay packets exceeding £100,000.

ECC leader David Finch noted Dr Gogarty’s salary has remained the same for the last four years – despite an increase in responsibilities.

“Dr Gogarty is paid at a rate determined by his former remuneration in the NHS, based on national NHS medical consultant pay scales,” he said.

“These reflect his length of service in the NHS prior to the transfer of public health from the NHS to local authorities.

“He is paid the same as any doctor with this background.

“Dr Gogarty is one of the most senior public health professionals in the region, working for one of the biggest councils in the country.

He added: “He provides public health advice and guidance to five NHS clinical commissioning groups across Essex, covering 1.4million residents.

“Essex’s public health service has been a national leader and innovator in successfully tacking important issues such as smoking, alcohol abuse and obesity.”

A PHE spokesman said the organisation has cut its costs to the taxpayer by a third since 2013.

“Public health professionals are on the frontline of protecting and improving the nation’s health – from fighting diseases such as Ebola and Monkeypox to tackling preventable disease which costs the NHS billions of pounds every year,” they added.

“The overwhelming majority of our staff, including our most senior team, are doctors, nurses, scientists and researchers.

“Their salaries incorporate merit based NHS National Clinical Excellence Awards.”

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