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Huge NHS executive pay-off “frustrating cost to bear”

PUBLISHED: 10:08 03 April 2013 | UPDATED: 11:11 04 April 2013

Strategic Health Authority Chief Exec Neil Mckay,on a visit to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn in 2006.

Strategic Health Authority Chief Exec Neil Mckay,on a visit to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn in 2006.

Archant © 2006

Health minister and Norfolk MP Norman Lamb said huge pay-offs for senior executives were a “frustrating cost to bear” as a result of reforms to the NHS.

Sir Neil McKay, the chief executive of NHS Midlands and East, reportedly took a lump sum of over £1m when the strategic health authority was abolished at the end of last week.

Sir Neil, who has been in the NHS for more than 40 years, is believed to have received £465,000 in redundancy with up to £549,000 cash from a pension pot after his chief executive position ceased to exist as a result of a shake-up of the health service in England.

Health minister and North Norfolk MP Mr Lamb said: “It is very hard to stomach. If you are trying to reorganise and make better use of resources in the long-term there is frustrating cost to bear in changing the system.

“We have to respect people’s contracts of employment and all the traditional contracts in the health service provide incredibly large pay-offs for senior executives. It is hard to take, but the progress is reducing bureaucracy and administration going forward.”

Mr Lamb added that the scrapping of strategic health authorities removed another tier of “bureaucratic management structure that has cost a fortune and devolves money away from patient care. No one will miss them.”

NHS East of England was established in 2006 as the Strategic Health Authority for Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire and was charged with ensuring that the £8.1bn spent on health care in the region delivered the best services and value-for money for both patients and the taxpayer. The SHA merged with the Midlands in 2011.

The EDP asked Sir Neil and the SHA 10 questions more than a week ago, but the chief executive and the press office failed to respond.


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