NHS Tayside refutes bonus claims

JON SAVAGE'SCOTLAND ON SUNDAY'FOR AGENDA PAGE'a pile of money cash notes money currency
JON SAVAGE'SCOTLAND ON SUNDAY'FOR AGENDA PAGE'a pile of money cash notes money currency

NHS Tayside has refuted claims that bonuses were made to senior management within the health service.

North East MSP, Mike Rumbles, and Councillor David May have criticised alleged bonus payments.

They say this is despite the health board having to make savings of £214 million in the next five years to balance its books and repay bailouts made by the Scottish Government.

Mr Rumbles and Mr May claim performance related bonuses totalling £87,000 were made to 66 senior management staff last year.

However, NHS Tayside says NHS staff do not receive bonuses.

Mr Rumbles said: “People expect NHS bosses and managers to receive bonuses for going above and beyond in their work, not ‘incomplete’ performance and progression.

“NHS Tayside faces a real challenge, saving the equivalent of nearly 2000 nurses salaries per year.

“It is the responsibility of the Scottish Government to properly fund our Health Boards, though in turn public money must be spent responsibly.

“Frontline staff across NHS Tayside are working hard to improve care for patients against a challenging financial backdrop and increasing demands on their time. In these circumstances, there is a risk that they could be demoralised.”

Mr May, Councillor for Montrose and District, added: “It is entirely inappropriate that a bonus culture exists in the public sector when finances are so tight. NHS Tayside must focus its attention on resolving its financial issues over the next five years, not on self-congratulating payments to senior management.”

Asked to comment on the claims, a spokesperson for NHS Tayside said: “To clarify, members of staff in the NHS do not receive bonuses.

“Pay enhancements are paid to all staff at all levels in the NHS, through increments for those on Agenda for Change bandings and through performance awards for senior managers and executives. In 2015-16, 66 members of this group of staff, which includes frontline clinical service managers, HR and eHealth staff, from executive level down to service level, received awards totalling £87,000.

“The awards are based on delivery of a number of criteria, which includes finance, but also importantly covers clinical and patient services and ultimately the delivery of safe and effective care.

“The enhancements paid to NHS Tayside staff were submitted to the independently chaired National Performance Management Committee who provided assurance that the performance management arrangements for the Executive cohort were robust and consistent and notified NHS Tayside that the enhancements could be paid.”