Monday, 11 July 2011

£200k for £300 a day NHS PR chief

SOLIHULL NHS chiefs spent £200,000 on a £300-a-day PR boss over four years, it has been revealed.

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Jill Ford was paid £199,000 by Solihull NHS Care Trust from 2007 to March 2011 and is still in post, information revealed under the Freedom of Information Act has shown.

She was paid £220 a day in 2007/08 and £300 a day since then.

The figures also show an interim director of community services was paid £130,000 a year and an interim director of finance was paid £96,030 a year.

It comes as the authority – responsible for deciding where NHS cash is spent – makes staff redundant to cope with a drop in Government cash support.

The FOI response says 13 posts have been made redundant or the post holder offered voluntary redundancy.

And it comes as the trust reports it is £4.1m into the red three months into the current financial year.

It is having to cut £20.7m out of its budget this year, including £10m in “disinvestments” – taking cash out of services.

A report warns there is a “high level of risk” it will not break even.

The trust refused to release daily rates of pay and total cash paid to the trust’s director of commissioning in response to the FOI request.

It said: “Following consultation with the third party involved the information requested would prejudice his commercial interests and is therefore being withheld from disclosure.”

The trust previously hit headlines over PR spent when The Silhillian reported it would part-fund a £40,000 PR contractor over the proposed downgrading of Solihull’s maternity services.

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