Health Bosses in Fat Cats Row over Pounds 50,000 Chief Officers

Article excerpt

Health bosses came under fire in a row over fat cats last night after it emerged that 11 managers earning up to pounds 50,000 are to be appointed to run new GP groups in Birmingham.

The appointment of the managers, known as chief officers, will double the number of NHS chief executives in the city. They will run the new Primary Care Groups (PCGs), which will take over from GP fundholders and administer NHS cash for different areas o f the city.

Birmingham Health Authority defended the salaries on the grounds that the new chief officers will administer budgets of up to pounds 55 million.

But the PCG budgets for administration will be no more than pounds 300,000 - and GPs expressed concern that the chief officer posts could swallow up a large proportion of this. PCGs were intended to satisfy Labour's pledge to abolish fund-holding and sla sh NHS bureaucracy.

The city's Liberal Democrat leader, Coun John Hemming (Acocks Green), said: "This is a great many highly paid posts. It is clearly a new health service with new cream for new fat cats. …