NURSES’ leaders have accused North-East hospital bosses of paying themselves substantial increases while allowing rank and file nurses to undergo a pay cut.

A new analysis of senior executive pay at three of the region’s biggest hospital trusts claims that while some NHS bosses have awarded themselves significant pay rises, front-line nurse and health care assistants have had to endure a real-terms cut in pay of between eight per cent and 12 per cent over the same period due to inflation.

However, the figures produced by the RCN are disputed by some of the trusts.

Loading article content

While a mid band five nurse’s salary increased from £23,563 in 2011-12 to £23,589 in 2012-13 – or 0.1 per cent – Ian Renwick, chief executive of the Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust saw his pay increase by 17 per cent from £190,100 to £222,700.

At the Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, chief executive Jim Mackey saw his salary increase by nine per cent between 2010 and 2013 - this figure excluded contributions towards his pension.

And at the Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, chief executive Sir Len Fenwick saw his salary increase by six per cent from £235,000 to £250,000 Glenn Turp, regional director for the RCN, said: : “A one per cent pay increase (for nurses) is a perfectly reasonable and proportionate request, particularly when put in the context of the rises in senior managers’ pay.

"The Government needs to stop having one rule for the front line nursing staff, and another for senior bosses. A full time mid-band three healthcare assistant earned £17,618 in 2012/13, but this is actually less than the pay rises awarded by some of our NHS trust bosses, between 2010 and 2013.”

A spokeswoman for the Newcastle Hospitals Trust said Sir Len Fenwick was paid £246,000 per annum and his salary had not increased in the last three years.