Campaigners are calling for an audit of the senior leadership structure in Health after it emerged that the annual bill for managers now stands at £10.1m, having shot up by more than £3.5m since 2019.
The top-level staff spending was revealed in a response to a recent request under the Freedom of Information Law, showing that “management staffing” within Health and Community Services accounted for nearly 6% of the Department’s annual budget.
The news comes as the Jersey Evening Post revealed today that £200,000 is due to be spent over just three months on a team of five UK health consultants brought in to improve the department in the wake of a damning report by Professor Hugo Marcie-Taylor - who himself has now been contracted to work three days a week at a rate of £1,440 a day.
It also comes weeks after the Treasury Minister said the Health Department - which needed a £13.3m emergency bung in 2022 to deal with "unavoidable pressures", partially due to missing a £6.5m savings target - would this year have to "live within their budget".
Reacting to the new management spending figures, Peter Funk, of the Friends of Our New Hospital Group, criticised what he described as an "exponential" rise in healthcare managers recently, from 12 managers in 2012 to over 150 by the end of 2022.
Another member of Friends of Our New Hospital Group, Brigadier Bruce Willing, described the amount of money being spend on management in HCS as “ludicrous”.
“We have 146 overnight beds in the Hospital and 153 managers at Grade 10 and above. It's a small hospital - why do we need more managers than beds?” he asked.
CLICK TO ENLARGE: HCS management staffing budget, 2019-2023.
“The whole management system is constipated,” said Mr Willing. “They’re like hamsters spinning in their wheels.”
He also claimed that the “ridiculous” number of managers “causes real difficulties on the ward floor”, sharing concerns that frontline healthcare staff often have to spend more time doing paperwork than dealing with patients.
"It gets in the way of everything," he said.
Calling for an audit of HCS management, Mr Willing described the current system as “ineffective and unaffordable”.
He said the money spent on “farcical” management staffing would be better used to pay nurses, invest in better medical equipment, and to design the new hospital.
He said: “Bad management causes a waste of both time and money, and gets in the way of everything. A lean organisation focuses on delivery, not bureaucracy."
Responding to the statistics, Health Minister Karen Wilson said she felt the level of spending on managers was not a cause for concern.
She said the rises reflected "usual contract negotiations for managerial roles and approvals of the [States Employment Board]".
Pictured: Minister for Health and Social Security, Deputy Karen Wilson justified the increase in spending.
"At this moment in time, I am not concerned about these costs as the rate over five years is low," she added.
The issue of managers "mushrooming" at the hospital is one that has been raised continuously in recent years.
In 2021, the Friends of Our New Hospital Group published a report criticising both the vacancy rate, and an “increasing” number of health managers.
Pictured: The 'Friends of Our New Hospital' asked why there were so many managers while clinical staff fell short.
The group's 'Management of Jersey's Health System' report detailed concerns that the hospital's leadership structure was impacting the culture within Health.
They claimed that friction was caused "when nursing staff and consultants see... jobs advertised at levels above their pay grade and hard-pressed medical staff pass office doors with ever more silly management job titles."
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It IS about time that THOSE who CLEARLY waste public funds ARE taken to task financially to repay the fiduciary effects of their actions?? This action would SOON put a halt to reckless acts!
Another FoI from 8 September 2022, 'Health and Community Services staffing' indicated 188 non-medical managers and 141 managers-medical (a total of 329 MANAGERS in HCS). Then we had a bunch of 'independent experts' hired to justify the existence of the top management, to obfuscate the landscape and to help demonstrate the professionalism of those at the top. It started with Kim Hodgson charging Jersey taxpayers over £500.000k for her 'consultancies'. Then the report of Professor Mascie-Taylor (£85.000) followed by his appointment to the chair of the board at £1.440 a day plus accommodation and travel for a year, then another independent board of 'change managers' at a minimum cost of £800.000. How much more we need to spend before the Chief Minister decides to hold those responsible for the chaos in Health to account? Nothing will change before people at the top of the pyramid and the Health Minister protecting them are let go.
Given the handsome remuneration, detached from the market-value guess how independent will Mascie-Taylor be in challenging the Director General or the Minister. Not being satisfied with one board they soon hired another board of 'fixers' for drivng'change management' in the hospital - again without any advertising spending at least £800k for the five hand-selected individuals. They were supposed to heal broken relationships between the clinicians and the managers and directors. How will they achieve it without firing those who ruined the trust in the first place, those who bullied doctors and nurses for years? £10 Million is a gross understatement. This is purely the personnel cost for the non-medical managers and directors. Add all the experts, boards, reports and administration costs they drive and you will easily exceed £20 Million.