• Interim director worked across Isle of Wight CCG and the Isle of Wight Trust
  • Cost was the highest approved by NHS England since new controls brought in
  • Approval process introduced in 2016 was meant to clamp down on high cost interims

NHS England approved the use of an interim director providing turnaround support for a clinical commissioning group at a cost of £1,920 a day, HSJ has learned.

The total costs – just under £300,000 including VAT, travel and expenses for work between July 2016 and March 2017 – were shared between the Isle of Wight Clinical Commissioning Group and the island’s trust, which also sought support from him.

According to the CCG, the money was paid to Cornwall based Orwin Algeo Management Solutions. Phil Orwin, a director of the company, appears in publicly available documents listed as interim turnaround director at the Isle of Wight CCG.

The appointment was one of 40 requests for approval of interims in CCGs costing more than £900 a day since new procedures were brought in from August 2016.

Since then, their appointments have had to be approved by NHS England’s commercial executive committee.

A total of 31 out of 40 applications have been approved according to information obtained by HSJ under the Freedom of Information Act. The £1,920 daily rate on the Isle of Wight was the highest approved since the controls were brought in.

A spokesman for NHS England said: “NHS England brought in clear and tough controls for CCGs to stop excessive payments, which have resulted in a £33m reduction on spend and as a result people no longer receive these rates of pay.”

Maggie MacIsaac, chief executive for the Hampshire and Isle of Wight CCG Partnership, said: “There are occasions where outside, specialist expertise is needed in the NHS, for a short period of time, and during 2016-17 the NHS on the Isle of Wight was facing severe financial pressure.

“Specialist expertise was contracted to help get the Island’s NHS working together more closely, and more efficiently, and to better support frontline teams to deliver care. All governance arrangements in place at the time were adhered to.”

Orwin Algeo Management Solutions was approached for comment.