Grantham councillor hits out at hospital trust's 'appalling' salaries
A Grantham councillor has slammed United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust (ULHT) bosses for receiving £1.5 million in salary and pension benefits between them as Grantham’s A&E is ‘dismantled piece by piece’.
Coun Ian Selby, an Independent counciller at South Kesteven District Council (SKDC), branded the salaries as ‘appalling’ after it was revealed that eight ULHT executive directors have received £1.5 million in combined salary and pension related benefits between them in the last year alone.
The figures, which include chief executive Jan Sobieraj’s salary of £185,000-190,000, were published in the NHS ULHT annual report and accounts for the year ended March 31 2018.
Coun Selby said: “It is an appalling state of affairs that the role of just eight executive directors of the United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust has cost a staggering £1.5 million in the past year alone.
“This is all going on while the A&E department at Grantham Hospital is being dismantled piece by piece and our residents are struggling to pay travel costs to and from Lincoln Hospital or even afford to pay the car parking charges.
“The executive directors are milking the system for all it’s worth. These directors took away our overnight A&E and used safety concerns as their excuse and yet the safety of our families and friends in the Grantham area has been compromised as we now have to travel much further for emergency treatment whilst the remote rural roads and winter conditions make life even more perilous.”
Martin Rayson, director of HR and organisational development at ULHT, said: “The salaries of executive team members are set by the trust’s remuneration committee, based on guidance from NHSI, and are in line with other similar trusts.
“Salaries over £150,000 also go through an NHS approval process.
“We would not comment on personal pensions, however all staff have the opportunity to opt in or out of the pension scheme or pause the payments.
“Pension benefits can also change over time.”
Plans to expand the resuscitation area at the A&E department at Lincoln County Hospital have also been revealed and concerns raised about the potential impact an expansion could have on services at Grantham Hospital.
The plans (pictured above) include a new tarmac ambulance docking station and a new ambulance exit.
Andrew Prydderch, deputy director of operations, urgent care, said: “We have drafted plans to expand the resuscitation areas at our A&E department at Lincoln County Hospital but this is subject to acquiring the necessary funding. This is where we treat our most seriously ill patients who might need resuscitation or serious medical interventions.
“The A&E department was originally built to see around 160-170 patients per day but now sees on average around 220, with a recent peak of 278.
“We have no plans to create a central hub for A&E patients in the county.
“These plans are about creating a better space to treat the most seriously ill patients who attend Lincoln County Hospital.”
The plans come at a time when it has been revealed that services are being reduced to the cardiology department at Grantham Hospital due to ‘workforce issues’.
A spokesperson for ULHT said: “The trust is currently experiencing some workforce challenges in relation to Grantham cardiology and is working to address these. There are still cardiologists at Grantham and District Hospital and the care for patients with cardiac problems continues.”
Melissa Darcey, of hospital campaign group Fighting 4 Life Lincolnshire, said: “Staff are being told of changes happening at the hospital and ULHT continue to be deceitful with the truth.
“It is, however, the responsibility of the clinical commissioning group to consult on STP changes and Fighting 4 Life Lincolnshire believes the changes in Grantham, Boston, Louth, Lincoln and throughout Lincolnshire are a result of the STP being implemented under the guise of temporary measures and “patient safety”. Yet these changes will continue to put our lives at risk.
“How many deaths are deemed acceptable?”