Barbara has criticised the decision made by NHS bosses to recruit a person to be a £97,000 a year “Head of NHS Brand”. The comments were made during an Inquiry into Public Expenditure by the Commons Health Select Committee.
NHS Chief Executive Sir David Nicholson attempted to defend the recruitment of the £97,000 a year role during the meeting, blaming the job title as ‘rather unfortunate’. He denied that the role was a frivolous waste of money.
Barbara told Sir David that creating this role was the sort of thing that made the public “see red”.
During the session, health bosses were also asked to explain to the committee why £3 billion had been given back to the Treasury over the past two years despite major costs pressures on the NHS which had brought about cuts and job losses.
“David Nicholson has failed in his attempt to defend the development of a unit to promote the NHS "brand" to the public. The NHS is a service not a brand.
“NHS frontline staff have had a two-year pay freeze and we are losing hundreds of nursing and midwifery posts in Greater Manchester. Those staff and my constituents will be unhappy to see a salary of nearly £100,000 attached to this sort of unnecessary post. That money should be spent on patient services.
“I am also very concerned that we have massive cost pressures on the NHS that have a real impact on patients, services and staff. Despite this, the NHS decides to hand £3 Billion of unspent budget back to the Treasury rather than spending it on patient care.”