Published: 12/09/2002, Volume II2, No. 5822 Page 9

The NHS has turned to industry in appointing a director general of IT. His£250,000 salary will make him Britain's highest-paid public servant.

Richard Granger, from Deloitte Consulting, has been appointed to take on what recruiters called the 'biggest IT challenge in the world'. His salary is significantly more than that of NHS chief executive Nigel Crisp. He will take up his post at the end of next month.

The Department of Health confirmed that the salary for the director general of NHS IT would be the highest in the civil service, but compared it to rates normally paid in industry.

A spokeswoman pointed out that private sector consultants of this calibre would earn from£600,000 to£800,000. She said that given Mr Granger's experience of tendering and commissioning services, he could be expected to deliver savings that would far outweigh his salary.

At Deloitte Consulting, Mr Granger was lead client service partner for the UK government, and was project manager for London's controversial congestion charging scheme.

Mr Granger will be directly accountable to Professor Sir John Pattison, DoH director of research, analysis and information, and will be supported by a team of his choosing.