• A cluster of north east DGH CEOs are paid more than chief execs of Manchester and Birmingham university hospital centres
  • Women run smaller organisations and are paid less on average

Fifteen trust chief executives were paid at yearly rates of more than £250,000 last year, including several in the north east running district general hospitals, according to HSJ analysis.

Two north eastern chief executives – including one who has since been dismissed – were paid more than the leaders of NHS organisations with a turnover of more than £1bn, despite running organisations with a turnover of less than £300m.

Ian Renwick, the former chief executive of Gateshead Foundation Trust, was paid £265,000 in 2017-18, which represented 0.1 per cent of his trust’s turnover. He was sacked earlier this year, the details of the reasons for this are not known. Alan Foster was also paid £255,000 by North Tees and Hartlepool FT last year (0.09 per cent).

Meanwhile, Ken Bremner received £265,000 for running City Hospital Sunderland FT and South Tyneside FT (0.05 per cent), and in the same NHS England region, Stephen Eames was paid £260,000 for running North Cumbria University Hospitals Trust and Cumbria Partnership FT (0.06 per cent).

All four received more than the chief executives of some of the largest trusts in the country.

Sir Mike Deegan received an annual equivalent of £210,000 from Manchester University FT (0.013 per cent of turnover), and Alwen Williams was paid £240,000 by Barts Health Trust (0.016 per cent). Dame Julie Moore, who has since left, was paid £255,000 for running University Hospitals Birmingham FT and Heart of England FT (0.016 per cent).

The NHS trusts in the north east and north Cumbria defended their chief executive salaries, saying in a joint statement: “The salaries of our chief executives and executive leadership teams are decided by independent nominations and remuneration committees and this is to ensure they are in line with publicly available salary benchmarking information.”

They said the region “consistently performs amongst the best in the NHS against national standards”, despite growing demands and “very challenging health inequalities which exist for people living in this part of the country”.

The salaries help retain the best healthcare leaders in the region, the statement added.

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ceo salary

Other standout salaries, in terms of proportion of turnover, were Robert Bell, of Royal Brompton and Harefield FT, and Clive Kay, of Bradford Teaching Hospitals FT (see table below).

HSJ also found that women chief executives were paid slightly less than men – this appears to reflect them running smaller trusts, especially mental health and community organisations.

Only four of the 15 highest paid chief executives were women – and they all ran trusts with turnovers of more than £1bn. However, the two most highly paid chief executives were women – Tracey Batten at Imperial College Healthcare Trust and Healthcare Trust and Marianne Griffiths who runs both Western Sussex Hospitals FT and Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals Trust. Ms Batten was paid the equivalent of £315,000 a year and Ms Griffiths £285,000 including a bonus.

HSJ looked at the pay details for 218 chief executives in 2017-18 and found that on average women chief executives were paid around £176,000 while men averaged £183,000.

It was a similar picture for finance directors and board level chief financial officers with women earning £8,500 less than men at £129,000 compared with £137,500.

Speaking to HSJ in October, chair of the Health and Care Women Leaders Network Sam Allen said that the gender gap was a known issue in finance and the NHS gender gap was less than the picture across other sectors. NHS Improvement was looking at consistency in senior managers’ pay at the moment, she added.

“There’s no standard senior managers’ pay scale,” said Ms Allen, who is chief executive of Sussex Partnership FT. “And there are different approaches in ambulance trusts and community. There is an absence of transparency around it.” One factor known to affect salaries is that men are much more likely to negotiate pay levels than women, she added.

But the NHS could look outside to learn from other industries which were making progress on these issues, she said, and at how jobs are advertised, the interviewing process and whether flexible working arrangements were available: “I’m really optimistic now could be the time [for change]… some of the biggest advocates for change are men in senior positions.”

HSJ has not published analysis on medical or nursing directors’ pay because of difficulties making accurate comparisons.

Quarter million club - annual salary rates

£315,000 – Tracey Batten, Imperial College Healthcare Trust. Based on four month’s salary and includes a pension adjustment. (0.027 per cent of turnover)*

£285,000 – Marianne Griffiths, Western Sussex Hospitals Foundation Trust and Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals Trust (includes bonus of £20,000) (0.028)

£280,000 – Robert Bell, Royal Brompton and Harefield FT (0.067)

£270,000 – Bruno Holthof, Oxford University Hospitals FT (0.026)

£267,000 – Ian Dalton, Imperial College Healthcare Trust – based on four and a half month’s salary (0.023)*

£265,000 – Ian Renwick, Gateshead Health FT (0.1)*

£265,000 – Marcel Levi, University College London Hospitals FT (0.024)

£265,000 – Ken Bremner, City Hospitals Sunderland FT and South Tyneside FT. Includes bonus of £10,000. (0.048)

£260,000 – Stephen Eames, North Cumbria University Hospitals Trust and Cumbria Partnership FT (0.059)

£260,000 – Roland Sinker, Cambridge University Hospitals FT (0.03)

£255,000 – Julie Moore, University Hospitals Birmingham FT*

£255,000 – Alan Foster, North Tees and Hartlepool Hospitals FT. Includes bonus of £5,000. (0.091)*

£255,000 – Nick Moberly, King’s College Hospital FT (0.023)*

£250,000 – Clive Kay, Bradford Teaching Hospitals FT (0.062)

£250,000 – Amanda Pritchard, Guys’ and St Thomas’ FT (0.017)

*No longer in post

Methodology: HSJ looked at the stated salaries in trusts’ annual reports and took the low point of the stated ranges. Where executives were in post for less than three months, they were excluded. Others who were in post for part of the year were included but their salaries calculated at full year rates. Salaries, bonuses and clinical excellence awards, if known, were included. All executives were assumed to work full time and interims were excluded. Some executives such as Tracey Batten were not in the NHS pension scheme so their employer did not have to pay towards this. Uncertainty over how the stated pay was made up meant some executives were excluded.