A HEALTH union has hit out at rising pay of hospital chief executives.
Figures uncovered by the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) show that North East and Cumbria NHS bosses were awarded a total of £130,000 extra in 2013/14, despite the fact that frontline nursing staff faced another year of pay freezes over the same period.
City Hospitals Sunderland chief executive Ken Bremner was awarded a rise of £5,000, putting his salary in between £220,000 and £225,000.
RCN regional director Glenn Turp said: “The Government failed to honour the one per cent pay rise it promised nurses back in 2013, and as if that is not bad enough, they are now asking the Pay Review Body to look into other areas where they can start cutting away at nursing terms and conditions.”
A spokesman for City Hospitals Sunderland said: “Running a multimillion pound acute hospital trust is hugely demanding, which becomes increasingly complex as pressures increase on both the system and on the staff.
“The level of chief executive pay is a matter for the trust board but has to take into account the expertise required, and equivalent rates throughout the NHS.
“Chief executive pay in the NHS is considerably lower than in the private sector, where, it could be argued, the complexities of the system are much less challenging.
“Our staff remain our biggest asset, and it is their dedication, professionalism and stamina, particularly in difficult times, that enables us to maintain top quality care to our patients.”