SOUTHEND’S hospital boss has been given a whopping £20,000 pay rise – despite some of her staff getting just a 1 per cent increase.
Jacqueline Totterdell, the hospital’s chief executive, receives £175,000 a year, according to the hospital’s annual report for 2013/14.
The pay rise comes despite the hospital being beset with staffing problems and having one of the worst A&E departments in the country.
Health workers’ union Unison has reacted furiously because its staff have been offered just 1 per cent.
Sam OIder, Unison regional organiser, said: “We are asking members to write to their MPs about this. Our members are receiving about one per cent. It hasn’t gone down very well to put it mildly.”
Jacqueline Totterdell’s second in command, Sue Hardy, the hospital’s chief nurse and deputy chief executive, got a £15,000 pay boost, taking her salary to £125,000.
Dean Jones, Unison branch secretary at Southend Hospital, added: “Our staff have just been brought up to the Agenda for Change national pay scales, with an average 1.2 per cent rise, way below the minimum 9 per cent given to directors.
“Jeremy Hunt said anyone earning more than £100,000 should receive a zero pay rise, with the money going to patients instead.
“We are seething because we’ve been told to tighten our belts, while they get these huge rises.”
The directors pay rises are awarded by the hospital’s remuneration committee.
The union has demanded to see the minutes of the meeting where the pay hikes were given.
The hospital defended the rises, saying they reflect the responsibility carried by top staff.
Alan Tobias, chairman of the hospital trust, said: “These are very senior, highly- qualified individuals who shoulder significant responsibility for the health and wellbeing of our local population.
“They are also responsible for more than 4,000 staff and manage a budget of more thanaquarter of abillion pounds.
“All posts at this level are subject to rigorous job evaluation arrangements and the pay scales applied reflect the outcomes of these processes.”
Mr Tobias added: “We have a remuneration committee, made up of non-executive directors, which advises the trust board on appropriate remuneration and terms of service for the chief executive, other executive directors, and other senior managers.
“The number of our directors and the scope of their responsibilities are in line with those in similar- sized organisations.
“However, their associated salaries benchmark as lower than their counterparts across the region.”
Claire Panniker, B a s i l d o n Hospital’s chief executive, earns slightly more than J a c q u e l i n e Totterdell, with a salary of £180,000, while Colchester’s chief executive gets £145,000.
SOUTHEND Hospital has had a rocky year. Health regulator Monitor ordered it to take urgent steps to improve its A&E department after branding it among the worst in the country.
The hospital has been told to come up with a plan to improve waiting times for non-emergency patients after repeatedly failing to meet a target of 95 per cent of patients seen within four hours.
Monitor also raised concerns about the stability of its executive team because of a high turnover of members in the past two years. There have been signs of improvement since then, with the hospital achieving more than 98 per cent seen in four hours for two consecutive months.
Jacqueline Totterdell, who was named by the Health Service Journal as one of the top 50 hospital chief executives in the country, is also facing recruitment problems – having to recruit nurses from overseas to bridge the gap.
The shortage has led to huge expenditure on agency staff. It hasn’t helped the £5million funding black hole it has incurred, as it struggles to find £45million of cuts imposed by the Government