Directors at ‘unsafe’ mental health trust got pay rise

CREDIT: This story was first seen in BBC News

Four directors at an “unsafe” mental health trust received £10k pay rises, despite failing to improve standards, BBC News reports.

As reported in the EADT, Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) boosted pay to £108,000 after it came out of special measures in 2016.

The Trust, which went back into special measures last month, said the salaries had been “significantly lower” than comparable roles.

A campaign group said the pay rise was “completely unjustifiable”.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has rated the trust as inadequate after it found the board had not addressed serious concerns raised in 2014.

It also said the board of the NSFT had failed to ensure “unsafe environments were made safe”. A host of improvements have been called for and a director will be attached to the trust to ensure they are carried out.

NSFT is the only mental health trust in England in special measures and only came out in October last year.

Jane Sayer, director of nursing, and Leigh Howlett, director of strategy, both of whom received the pay increase, have since resigned from the NSFT board.

Former director of operations in Suffolk Alison Armstrong left to take up a senior role at Colchester Hospital in April, while director of operations in Norfolk Deborah White is still in post on £108,000.

The trust said it held an annual review of pay in September 2016 and recommended an increase of £10,000, subject to the trust coming out of special measures.

“The review identified that four of the executive roles were paid significantly lower than overall averages for comparable roles in mental health and in the region,” a statement said.

“An increase of £10,000 each was therefore recommended and approved.

“Other posts were already being paid around the average remuneration for comparable posts and therefore did not change.”

The Campaign to Save Mental Health Services in Norfolk and Suffolk said the “astonishing” pay rises represented “the unacceptable face of NSFT management”.

“While NSFT bosses awarded themselves £10,000 pay rises for leaving special measures, NSFT was heading towards another inadequate CQC inspection, a return to special measures and the ignominy of becoming the undisputed ‘worst mental health trust in the country’.”

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