NHS England employs more than 400 bureaucrats on more than £100,000 each a year, led by a chief executive on a third more than his predecessor, The Telegraph can reveal.
New data – released on the orders of Health Secretary Steve Barclay – shows NHS England has hired 430 managers with salaries of at least £100,000.
Of these, 109 earn at least £150,000, with salaries of up to £260,000.
The ‘organigram’, which is published for all central health bodies, shows a total of 529 senior officials in health organizations earning at least £100,000 – including 45 earning more than the Prime Minister’s £164,000.
In addition to NHS England’s six-figure 430, 53 are employed by the Department of Health and Social Care, including 21 at Health Education England, 16 at NHS Digital and nine at NHS Resolution.
Health chiefs at NHS England – which has more than 20,000 staff on its payroll – recently announced plans to cut around 8,000 jobs as part of waste reduction pledges.
A job freeze was ordered, with voluntary redundancies offered and organizations merged in a bid to cut staff by 40%.
It comes as health chiefs seek an additional £7billion on top of planned funding increases, to deal with pressures from the NHS which they say are worse than those of the pandemic.
Overall, waiting lists are at a record 7 million, with a doubling in the number of cancer patients facing waits of at least two months.
NHS England officials say additional funds are needed to meet the costs of inflation.
In exchange for ‘protecting’ its budget in next week’s budget statement, the organization should be told to find ‘efficiencies and reforms’ to prove the billions it receives won’t go to waste .
NHS England was set up as an independent body almost 10 years ago as part of reforms aimed at creating a ‘lightweight’ organization free from day-to-day political interference.
But it ended up with a staff of around 22,000 after recent mergers with other health bodies.
Jim McConalogue, chief executive of think tank Civitas, said: ‘At a time when families are counting pennies and telling themselves they will have to pay more tax for the NHS, it will feel like a slap in the face to hear that there are more than 400 bureaucrats with six-figure salaries at NHS headquarters.
“If we are truly told that the NHS will be protected from cuts to balance the books, then the NHS needs to look long and hard at the pay of top bosses. This is the minimum the public will expect.
Mr Barclay took a keen interest in bureaucracy, using his first speech in the post to highlight the fact that there are now 50,000 people working for the NHS who do not provide direct patient care.
The Treasury has indicated that planned increases will be protected, with discussions focusing on how much of the extra £7billion that could be awarded – and whether additional demands will be made on the health service in return for the extra money.
The new datasets detail each job title, with key responsibilities and salary range.
In some cases, pay bands are extraordinarily wide.
For example, the post of Chief Executive of the NHS, filled by Amanda Pritchard, is between £190,000 and £260,000. But separate data released by the Cabinet Office earlier this year provides a clearer picture, putting Ms Pritchard on a salary of between £255,000 and £260,000.
That’s around £60,000 more than his predecessor, Lord Stevens, who voluntarily took a reduced salary throughout his term, earning between £195,000 and £200,000.
Ms Pritchard was seconded to NHS England from her role as chief executive of Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Trust in 2016, since then her salary has remained unchanged, with Ms Pritchard apparently rejecting a number of pay rises.
It comes as the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) is expected to unveil polling results which are expected to support the strike.
The NCR had called for a 5% increase above the RPI inflation rate which currently sits above 12%.
In England and Wales, NHS staff, including nurses, received an average of 4.75% more, with a supplement for the lowest paid.
An NHS spokesperson said: ‘The NHS is already one of the most efficient health services in the world – just 2p in every NHS pound is spent on administration – compared to triple that in France and more double in Germany – with the cost of NHS England and Betterment executive salaries have fallen by around a fifth since 2018.
“Although this data includes important clinical roles, such as medical and nursing directors, NHS England has already planned to reduce the number of positions in the organization by up to 40%.”