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More PFI hospitals in the pipeline

Issue No. 1939

The unelected committees supposedly representing healthcare in Epsom and Sutton, Surrey, rejected the wishes of the majority of citizens in the area and voted to downgrade St Helier and Epsom hospitals to “care centres” last month.

They also approved the building of a PFI hospital based at Sutton on land owned by the Marsden Hospital. Their plan envisages a number of “satellite” care centres around a critical hospital.

It quickly became apparent that the public did not buy into this scheme. An all-party campaign together with the local authorities opposed the scheme. Yet these unelected boards chose to stick up the two proverbial fingers—so much for consultation.

The proposed new hospital will have 300 fewer beds, yet the existing hospitals are full and the area is growing. Epsom has seen the building of hundreds of new homes in the last two years.

Geoff Martin, Unison’s London convenor, has called for the scheme to be put on hold until the whole business has been investigated.
Keith Mallinson

The pay gap between hospital bosses and ordinary NHS staff is widening, a report by industry analysts Incomes Data Services revealed this week. The pay and perks package of NHS chief executives has gone up more than 70 percent over the past decade, while nurses’ pay has risen by only 50 percent in the same period, researchers found.

For the first time, NHS chief executives’ earnings have burst through the £200,000 mark at some hospitals.

Steve Tatton of Incomes Data Services said, “It seems that pay movements in the NHS invite comparisons with the private sector, especially the widening gap between board and employee remuneration.

“As in the private sector, it seems earnings of NHS directors have outpaced the rest of the health workforce.”

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Sat 19 Feb 2005, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 1939
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