Angry trades unionists have hit out at the "completely unjustifiable" £190,000 plus salary of the prospective new Burton and Derby NHS supremo ahead of the controversial health merger.
New figures released by Derby Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust show that Gavin Boyle, who is set to head the merged NHS Trust, is currently earning more money than Prime Minister Theresa May.
The recently published annual report and accounts guide from the Foundation Trust shows that Mr Boyle was paid between £190,000 and £195,000 from March 31, 2016 to March 31, 2017. The Prime Minister's salary has been quoted as £152,532.
The chairman of Derby Teaching Hospitals Foundation Trust John Rivers said Mr Boyle's salary reflected the demands of the role and had been determined by the Trust's remuneration committee after benchmarking against other large NHS trusts.
But William Walker, secretary of East Staffordshire Trade Union Council hit back - and claimed money allocated for executive pay would be better spent on frontline NHS services.
Mr Boyle is the current chief executive of the Derby trust and has already been named in the same role should the planned merger go through.
The merger will see a new NHS trust formed as Derby Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust acquires the Burton hospitals trust in the proposed merger.
It has also already been confirmed that the current boss of the Burton trust, Helen Scott-South, 60, will retire after more than 40 years with the NHS, if the merger is approved.
She has decided to step down after a 42-year career with the NHS, after deciding not to throw her hat into the ring for the new top job, it has been revealed.
The recently published annual report and accounts guide from Derby Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust shows how the trust has performed across the past financial year.
Included in the report is all the salaries earned by executives and non-executive directors in the trust, including Gavin Boyle.
It is revealed that between March 31, 2016 and March 31, 2017, Mr Boyle was paid a salary of between £190,000 and £195,000.
Comparatively, Prime Minister, Theresa May earned a salary of £152,532 from April 1, 2016, according to Government statistics.
Mr Walker said: "The salary earned by Mr Boyle is completely unjustifiable when you have student nurses having their bursaries cut and fully qualified nurses who have not had a pay rise for years struggling to make ends meet.
"When you look at the combined salaries of the current Derby board, it equates to over £1 million of taxpayers money. It is extremely disappointing that such vast amounts of public money should go to hospital stakeholders rather than to frontline NHS services.
"Should this unwanted takeover go through, Mr Boyle will become the CEO of the new trust covering Burton. We would now call on him and those pushing through this takeover to immediately declare Mr Boyle’s salary once the trusts combine.
"Such extortionate pay packets only further highlight just how far out of touch these senior figures are from public opinion and more importantly from the plight of NHS staff and patients who will ultimately lose out because of their desire to drive through a privatisation agenda."
The chairman of Derby Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, John Rivers sought to quell the trade union's concerns, and said: "The chief executive's salary was determined by the trust's remuneratrion committee, after benchmarking against other large NHS trusts, and it was approved on his appointment by HM Treasury."Gavin Boyle is leading a large complex organisation with more than 8,500 employees and an annual turnover of £500 million.
"His is a challenging role and his salary reflects the demands placed on him in providing strong leadership at Derby Teaching Hospitals, which is proud of its reputation for high quality patient care.
"It is absolutely key that we attract and retain the best individuals to lead our trust at a time when the NHS is under considerable pressure.
"There have been no discussions to date about salaries for any prospective director of a new organisation post-merger."
The Burton and Derby hospital trusts merger so far
Final planning for the proposed merger is still being finalised and should be submitted and reviewed by the end of the year.
Earlier this year, in June, it was announced at a Healthwatch meeting that the outline business case for the partnership of the organisations, with a recommendation to merge, was approved.
Fears have been raised by many, particularly in Burton, that the hospital could lose services, including the accident and emergency department.
Concerns were raised that the A and E department at Queen's Hospital could be downgraded to an urgent care centre, meaning it would not operate 24-7. The Burton Mail, as well as the town's MP Andrew Griffiths, joined the fight to keep it open.
At the Healthwatch meeting it was confirmed by bosses from both respective trusts, Helen Scott-South from Burton and Gavin Boyle from Derby, that the A and E department would not close.
A new trust will be formed, if the current plans go ahead, under a new combined title. The chairman will be John Rivers, the current chairman of both Derby and Burton trusts, and chief executive of Derby Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Gavin Boyle will take up the same role at the new trust.