Non-executive chairmen and directors of NHS bodies play a vital role in the governance of these bodies. There is no shortage of public-spirited people who want to do these jobs. I have been turned down myself so I guess that implies that are lots of talented people that want to do them who were chosen ahead of me. But the NHS seems to want to throw more money at these people at a time when NHS budgets are under pressure. The Telegraph reports today that chairman of these bodies will be getting £30-60,000 for these part-time roles rather than the standard £21,882 now. Non-exec directors will also be getting £7,500 for 2-3 days work per month.
These jobs once had a whiff of volunteerism about them but clearly the NHS is thinking that they need to be “professionalised”. By raising these stipends the NHS is looking to buy these boards. It is hard to challenge producer interests and criticise the norms promulgated by the nomenklatura of modern British civic life if you are bought and paid for.
The article quotes both NHS Confederation and Department of Health sources who have the effrontery to make comparisons with the private sector. How can we afford a National Health Service, free at the point of delivery, if these people all want top dollar? Where is the public service ethic that is expected of frontline staff? Not in the boardroom clearly.
The nomenklatura is alive and well and looking forward to large windfalls in Ealing. The Ealing PCT Chairman, Marion Saunders, currently gets £21,882 (to rise to £30,000 to £40,000). Her background is working in Ealing Social Services. Non-exec Philip Portwood will be looking forward to £7,500 instead of £5,673. As an Ealing Councillor he already received £18,000 in allowances last year. The other non-execs come from a range of health and social care backgrounds.
Talking of Ealing PCT I received a letter from Robert Creighton, the £110K+ Chief Exec, this morning detailing the costs of their “Your NHS” publication. To their credit they have been able to get this publication out 315,000 people for only £22,000. To be curmudgeonly it does not change my two week wait for a GP’s appointment to the two days they claim. See October story. It took me a while to write to them, their response was pretty quick.