Lamb reveals 50 Health civil servants earn £100k+

From today’s Telegraph:

The number of staff earning three-figure salaries at the Department of Health has shot up from just eight in 1997 when Labour came to power. Norman Lamb, Liberal Democrat health spokesman who obtained the figures in response to a written Parliamentary question, said: “For too long the Government’s priority has been increasing the amount of bureaucracy in the NHS.

“The explosion in the number of managers, not just in the Department of Health but across the NHS in general, is crazy when front line services are under huge pressure. People will be shocked that so many civil servants are earning over £100,000 when nurses are struggling to make ends meet.”

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9 Comments

  • Matthew Huntbach 13th Jan '09 - 4:11pm

    Why single out the NHS?

    Isn’t the whole of the City finance industry just “managers”? I mean, no-one there is getting their hands dirty making things, they’re just shuffling round figures, how’s that any different from what NHS managers are doing?

    Aren’t all those “traders” just a very elaborate and hugely overmannned and overpaid bureaucracy for doing the simple job of getting prices right? (Something they’ve failed at abysmally in recent months …). Couldn’t they be replaced by a few people on modest salaries, something like the middle-ranking civil servants they’re the private sector equivalent of?

    The argument “they’re making money” doesn’t hold water any more. The argument “they’re very clever” doesn’t either, now we can see just what crap most of them were saying a couple of years ago. The argument “we have to pay them so much to attract the best” applies to the NHS, doesn’t it? The argument “they work hard and long hours”, well, doesn’t that apply to nurses?

    OK, I’m making only semi-serious points here, but …

  • I like the idea they are earning “three figure salaries”!

  • Shouldn’t the comparision be people now on £100k+ salaries with people on about £70k (possibly a bit less) in 1997 to allow for wage inflation.

  • Peter Bancroft 13th Jan '09 - 8:28pm

    Given the size of the NHS, 50 staff doesn’t seem like very much.

    That’s just the Chief Exec and his management team (responsible for an annual budget of £90,000,000,000) plus the heads of the regional health authorities and some hospitals.

    I’m actually of the view there are quite some areas where the civil service overpays, but these 50 people don’t feel like they’re in them.

  • yes, this is pretty thin (when you compare what the most senior nhs managers will be asked to do for their money as opposed say to politicians ….)

  • There is an increasing danger that we lose sight of the reality of the market. This applies to local government salaries as well as to NHS salaries.

    It might be tempting to follow Eric Pickles (not that tempting, I admit) into demanding that local government chief executive salaries be less than six figures and is definitely populist.

    In fact what we want is to ensure that market salaries are matched with performance management: in other words – ‘you are paid well, but if you falter out you go’.

    My local NHS trust has had serious problems in recruiting a chief finance officer – and the absence of a chief finance officer did it no good at all. A few extra thousands could have saved the taxpayer a lot of money

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