Rosie Cooper MP called on Theresa May today (Wednesday 22 March 2017) to investigate pay increases of up to 80% at NHS Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) as they embark on funding cuts to frontline health services and NHS staff receive a below inflation 1% pay increase.
A freedom of information request to Liverpool CCG from Commons health select committee member, Rosie Cooper, revealed members of the governing body received bumper pay rises mainly in 2014/15.
Notable increases include a 15% increase for the chief officer from £135,000 -; £140,000 (2013/14) rising to £155,000 – £160,000 (2014/15). She also received £1,500 in expenses in 2014/15.
At the same time the chief finance officer received an inflation-busting 16% salary increase, taking his pay from £125,000 -£130,000 rising by at least £20,000 to £145,000 – £150,000. In 2014/15 he also had £600 in expenses according to published accounts.
However, these rises don’t compare to the 50% increase for the CCG Chair with a whopping £50,000 pay rise from his £100,000 -; £105,000 salary in 2013/14 rocketing to £150,000 – £155,000 the next year.
For his Deputy Chair, a 42.85% salary increase taking their salary from £70,000 – £75,000 to £100,000 plus one year later.
In light of this information MP Rosie Cooper called on the Prime Minister to investigate the lack of governance and accountability that allows clinical commissioning groups to pay this level of salary and to only have two non -executive directors instead of the usual five.
In response the Prime Minister confirmed that NHS England would now be investigating the remuneration of members of the governing body of Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group.
Speaking after her challenge to Theresa May at Prime Minister’s Questions, Rosie Cooper MP said:
“The tremendous pressures on frontline NHS services to meet demand is not a secret.
“Whilst the CCG were handing out these scandalous pay rises to reward themselves, the CCG stood by and allowed grotesque failings to occur at Liverpool Community Health NHS Trust in which patients and staff were harmed by the culture of bullying and horrific management failures.
“The actions of Liverpool CCG reveal the extent to which, in this new health system, nobody is really holding CCG’s to account. They are a law unto themselves. It is clear in Liverpool they can do as they please and believe they do not answer to anyone.
“I believe there are serious questions that needed to be asked of, and answered by, the CCG in relation to the size of their pay increases, the number of people receiving these astronomical increases and how they justify the current salary levels especially at a time when community health services have seen £4.6 million cut from current funding, when frontline services are being cut and NHS staff are handed a 1% salary increase.
“There are now plans to merge Liverpool CCG with neighbouring South Sefton CCG and Southport and Formby CCG. Can you imagine the salaries they’d hand themselves from commissioning health services across three communities as well as the lack of proper governance in choosing the chief executive officer?
“All I am asking is for this situation to be reviewed and for there to be real public accountability.”