DGH’s highest earner fetches £265,000 a year

The NHS trust which runs the DGH and is having to make £104million in savings is paying its top ten highest earners more than £175,000 a year each – with the best paid trousering a mammoth £265,000 a year.

Figures obtained by the Herald under the Freedom of Information Act have revealed the approximate incomes of the most well-rewarded members of staff at East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust.

And, perhaps surprisingly, the chief executive Darren Grayson is not top of the tree.

The man who heads up the trust, which employs around 7,000 people across East Sussex, has an income or between £175,000 and £180,000 a year.

That is the same level as a consultant radiologist and a consultant anaesthetist who both have wages in the same pay banding.

A consultant physician sits at number seven, on between £180,000 and £185,000, with a consultant paediatrician at six taking home between £5,000 and £10,000 a year more.

A pair of consultant physicians both pocket between £210,000 and £215,000 for their work while a medical director and a consultant radiologist are in the next bracket up, earning between £215,000 and £220,000 a year.

The top earner at the Trust, which runs the DGH, the Conquest in St Leonards and a host of smaller sites across the county, is a consultant anaesthetist who is paid between £265,000 and £270,000 a year.

That works out as more than the current UK prime minister David Cameron who is paid £64,766 a year for being an MP and another £132,923 for filling the top job.

A spokesman for the Trust said the Cameron comparison was unfair because it did not take into consideration the thousands he was saving by being given Number 10 and other properties.

And he added that the picture was not as simple as the overall figure being their standard wage.

The Herald was told, “The top ten earners at the Trust are all consultant clinicians apart from the chief executive.

“The clinicians’ earnings are made up of three elements: their basic salary, plus other contractual allowances – for example, on call payments, clinical excellence awards, pay for specific responsibilities and reimbursements for travel costs/subsistence – and ‘one off payments’, like pay for work undertaken on an ad hoc basis or back pay.”

The Trust added that it was not unusual for the chief executive of an organisation in charge of 7,000 members of staff to be well paid.

In comparison, Rob Cottrill, the chief executive of Eastbourne Borough Council, earns around £100,000 a year while the head of the county council is on a minimum of £165,000