Average pay for provider trust directors increased by 1.8 per cent in 2011-12, according to research shared with HSJ.

A report by the company Income Data Services found the median salary of trust executive directors − excluding medical directors − remained the same in March 2012 as a year earlier. However, the mean average had increased by 1.8 per cent between 2010-11 and 2011-12.

Pay levels for staff on the NHS Agenda for Change framework − covering most employees, including nurses − was frozen from April 2010 to March 2013. However, many staff employed under AfC will still have recieved automatic increment pay increases. AfC staff gained a one per cent increase in pay levels this year.

The mean increase for provider chief executives was 1.7 per cent, while the median was again zero. Median hospital chief executive pay was £157,500.

Those chief executives in the top quarter of earners received a mean increase of 2.6 per cent.

Income Data Services completed its latest executive compensation review report into NHS senior pay last week. It shared some of its findings with HSJ.

Among the trusts singled out for giving particularly significant increases to directors was Wye Valley Trust. It said it changed its senior pay structures after the trust was formed in April 2011 to reflect its becoming larger.

Gloucestershire Hospitals Foundation Trust was also identified, after it agreed to bring the pay of its nursing director in line with other executives resulting in a 10 per cent rise.

The providers with the highest median salary for chief executives were acute and specialist at £167,500. The lowest were care trusts, whose chief executives earned a median salary of £132,500.

The study of 389 NHS organisations also found in many trusts the medical director was the highest paid board member. Median total remuneration for the group was £185,000, £17,500 more than the corresponding figure for chief executives.

Regionally, the North East had the highest median salary, with London the second highest. The South West had the lowest paid chief executives.

The report said only 5 per cent of chief executives were paid bonuses. The mean value of those was £14,750 - pushed up by two particularly large sums. They were at West Hertfordshire Hospitals Trust and Oxford University Hospitals Trust.

West Hertfordshire Hospitals said the bonus was for meeting “challenging corporate and personal objectives”.

The Oxford trust did not comment.

The report said executive director turnover in NHS trusts was 24 per cent for the second year running.

IDS executive compensation review editor Steve Tatton said: “Although NHS remuneration committees are not subject to the government’s pay policies, the research shows they have taken their cue from the government’s desire for pay restraints.”