DGH director’s £275,000 payment slammed as ‘absolutely ridiculous’

The leader of Eastbourne Borough Council has said it is ‘absolutely ridiculous’ that the turnaround director hired to patch up the finances of the trust that runs the DGH is reported to be paid more than a quarter of a million pounds.

Councillor David Tutt’s comments come after the town’s MP Stephen Lloyd said he was appalled after being told that Andrew Murphy was being paid £275,000.

Cllr Tutt said, “It’s an absolutely ridiculous waste of money that would be far better spent on patient care.

“If you compare it locally it is almost three times what we pay the chief executive of Eastbourne Borough Council and considerably more than the county council pay their chief executive.

“If you compare it with a nurses’ salary, how many nurses would it pay for?”

Mr Lloyd said he was appalled after being told the figure, adding, “Furthermore, this consultancy payment is only for a six month contract and appears to be his reward for downgrading our hospital even further.”

Darren Grayson, chief executive of East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, said, “The simple truth is that we can’t carry on as we are. We face a considerable financial challenge and to aid us in this task we have appointed the services of a turnaround company called Kingsgate.

“They have a successful track record in helping other NHS organisations become more efficient and effective. Our key priority is to deliver sustainable services and to maintain and improve the quality and safety of our services at all times.”

He added, “The NHS has been set the target of saving £20 billion over the period of the coalition government of which Mr Lloyd is a member. This is a challenging goal when demand for NHS services is increasing with an ever ageing population and the costs of drugs, therapies, equipment and utilities are increasing.”