Thousands of NHS managers earning more than MPs

Thousands of NHS managers earning more than MPs
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Throughout the pandemic there have been frequent demands for more investment in the NHS. In October, Rishi Sunak was forced to announce further investment of almost £6 billion  to tackle England’s record NHS waiting list. Between 2010 and 2025, the health budget is expected to have increased by 42 per cent; with NHS England’s resource budget set to rise to £162.6 billion over that period. But is all that money being spent wisely?

For new figures from the Department of Health show that, while the public is crying out for frontline services, the number of well-paid NHS managers now run into the thousands. According to health minster Edward Argar there are now some 7,018 managers with total earnings of between £80,000 to £129,999 in the NHS – more than many of his parliamentary colleagues who collect an MPs' salary of £81,932. These are total earnings, which include non-basic-pay elements such as overtime, geographic allowances, or on-call payments and cover the 12 month period up until June 2021.

A further 1,071 NHS managers are earning between £130,000 to £199,999 – comparable to the Prime Minister's annual salary of £161,401. Another 114 NHS managers take home between £22.8 and £28.5 million between them as they earn between £200,000 and £249,999 – sums that could pay for around a thousand nurses on a starting salary of  £25,655 per year. And finally some 36 NHS managers take home at least £250,000 a year. Good to see one part of the health service at least is in decent financial health.

Paul Bristow MP, who sits on the Commons health select committee, told Mr S: 'I think most would agree that the NHS should receive the record investment the government have promised, but would insist that the money is spent well. That means on front line services, dealing with elective backlog and on the pandemic. 

'Salaries of over £250k and thousands upon thousands of middle managers does not look like money well spent. NHS Trusts and CCGs should be given targets on saving money on management and sharing costs – and meeting these targets should be a major consideration when dishing out taxpayers cash.'

Danni Boxall of the Taxpayers' Alliance added:  'We keep hearing the health service is facing a cash crisis, and it's little wonder when some trusts give out generous pay packages like these. Taxpayers expect the money they put into the NHS to be spent on patients, not on pumped-up pay packets.'

Let's hope with the new 'record investment' we don't start seeing record salary bumps too.

Written bySteerpike

Steerpike is The Spectator's gossip columnist, serving up the latest tittle tattle from Westminster and beyond. Email tips to or message @MrSteerpike

Topics in this articlePoliticsnhspaul bristow