Patients' representatives have expressed outrage at the£500,000 combined salaries of the senior management team at the Commission for Patient and Public Involvement in Health. They say CPPIH should be disbanded and the money spent on local initiatives.
CPPIH has faced mounting criticism since its inception in 2003 and is due to be axed next summer to make way for new patient involvement and scrutiny organisations.
But patients' forums around the country say the organisation should go now as it does not do enough to justify the salaries of the six senior managers, which total£490,000-£520,000. Chief executive Steve Lowden earns£105,000-£110,000 a year.
Robert Jones, vice-chair of the Isle of Wight patients' forum, said: 'What are these people doing for these salaries? The service that the commission has given forums has always been patchy.'
A CPPIH spokeswoman said the salaries reflected 'market rates' and were not poor value for money. 'We are a national organisation responsible for 5,000 forum members,' she said. She added recent activity included a survey highlighting the poor standard of hospital food.