Anger over chief’s ‘obscene’ salary

Sunshine Nursery, Bassetlaw Hospital, Kilton Hill, Worksop.'Protest against the closure of the nursery.'Picture: Peter Reading - Interim Chief Executive, Bassetlaw Hospital, addresses the parents regarding the future of the nursery.
Sunshine Nursery, Bassetlaw Hospital, Kilton Hill, Worksop.'Protest against the closure of the nursery.'Picture: Peter Reading - Interim Chief Executive, Bassetlaw Hospital, addresses the parents regarding the future of the nursery.
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BASSETLAW Hospital boss Dr Peter Reading earned more last year than the NHS chief executive and even the prime minister, figures have revealed.

The annual report from Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals Trust shows it cost £230,000 to employ Dr Reading for the 12 months to March as the interim chief executive.

The deal included an extra fee of £59,000 paid to an agency for arranging his services, taking the total cost to £300,000.

This is more than it cost to employ NHS chief executive Sir David Nicholson whose remuneration package last year was worth £280,000.

Union officials branded the salary obscene’ against the backdrop of service cuts and pay freezes for other staff.

Rianne Johnson, of the trust’s Unison branch, said the union was disgusted.

“This is almost double the salary of the Prime Minister,” she said. “Peter Reading was paid more in a day than a cleaner earns in a month, and more in a month than a nurse earns in a year.”

“This information will further anger our members in Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals who have taken a pay freeze and are facing threats to jobs and services and attacks on their terms and conditions and their pensions.”

Bassetlaw MP John Mann said the pay deal was ‘outrageous’.

He called for the agency fee to be repaid and urged the chairman to consider his position.

Mr Mann said: “This would have paid for a lot of nurses and it would have kept the nursery open at our hospital.”

The trust said the rate was paid to a specialist agency dealing with interim placements, which were often required at short notice for short periods of time.

A spokesman said: “Three agencies were contacted, the one that nominated the successful candidate received a facility fee for its work which is standard practice.”

Dr Reading is soon to leave the trust now new chief executive Ron Calvert has been appointed.

Trust directors earned a total salary of more than £1m in salary last year.

Full time workers in Bassetlaw earn an average salary of £29,411 - ten times less than the trust paid for Dr Reading.

Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals Trust this week said Dr Reading’s pay was in line with other local NHS chief executives.

He did not receive any national insurance or pension payments, or any sick pay, holiday pay or expenses, which takes his net pay packet to £178,600.

Trust chairman Chris Scholey said Dr Reading had been an ‘outstanding’ interim appointment since 2007.

“He seamlessly picked up where our previous chief executive left off and has also begun a whole new range of initiatives that Ron will pick up, which will see us through the next three to five years - including a significant savings programme.”

The trust faces a savings target of £16m over the next year.