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New Health Chair to be paid third of £230k-a-year predecessor's salary

New Health Chair to be paid third of £230k-a-year predecessor's salary

Thursday 25 January 2024

New Health Chair to be paid third of £230k-a-year predecessor's salary

Thursday 25 January 2024


The replacement for the £230,000-a-year professor in charge of overseeing the Health Department will be paid just a third of their predecessor's salary... when one is finally chosen after a stop-start recruitment campaign lasting more than six months.

The department announced earlier this month that Hugo Mascie-Taylor, the Interim Chair of the Health Advisory Board, was leaving the role after having his contract extended by a month-and-a-half – but that there was no replacement yet.

A controversial appointment

After authoring the damning £85,000 report that claimed there was a 'Jersey Way' at play in the Health Department in 2022, Professor Hugo Mascie-Taylor was controversially brought on board for a fixed-term period of a year to chair the Advisory Board that he had recommended creating.

This, combined with the fact that he had also helped appoint and later mentored the hospital's Medical Directorsparked concerns from some over a potential conflict of interest. This was denied by the Chief Minister.

Controversy also arose when details of his salary were first emerged.

Prof Mascie-Taylor, was paid £232,650 between November 2022 and October 2023, the length of his original contract. He also received more than £21,000 in expenses. He was contracted for just three days of work per week. 

Salary discrepancies

But when it comes to his successor, the Health Department has had a salary rethink, Express has learned.

Online job adverts show that the new recruit will be paid less than a third of Prof Mascie-Taylor's sum, with an annual salary of £70,000 for three days of work a week, though it is expected that travel and accommodation expenses will be added to this figure.

When asked to explain the change, the Department said it was putting the position in line with similar posts in the UK.

Express found two similar roles on NHS boards, where the salary range is comparable: 

When asked why Prof Mascie-Taylor's salary differed so greatly, Health officials claimed he was paid more because of "additional duties including providing specialist clinical advice".

The cost of recruiting both a new chair and non-executive directors to the board were one of the reasons cited by the former Assistant Chief Minister Andy Jehan in his November resignation letter.

A bumpy recruitment process

Finding a replacement for Prof Mascie-Taylor has not been straightforward – another point raised by Constable Jehan.

The hiring process for a new chair began at the end of July 2023, documents show.

Professor_Hugo_Mascie-Taylor_.jpg

Pictured: The Health Department said Prof Mascie Taylor got paid three times more than the person who will eventually replace him because he took on "extra duties" and gave "specialist clinical advice".

After in November, no-one had been appointed to fill the role permanently, Prof Mascie-Taylor's contract was extended until 31 December.

It is not clear when this most recent advert was posted. However, it mentions a closing date of Monday 8 January – more than five months after recruitment began.

The final panel was scheduled to take place on Monday 22 and Tuesday 23 January.

Meanwhile, Health Minister Karen Wilson said she was limited in what she could say because of purdah - but that the department was "making progress".

Former Assistant Chief Minister Andy Jehan resigned from his role in protest when Prof Mascie-Taylor's contract was extended, saying at the time that he had "severe concerns over the planned process and significant cost of the Interim Chair".

He also cited that a very competent candidate had not been recruited, saying their appointment had been blocked by Health Minister Karen Wilson.

Speaking to Express earlier this month, he said he thought recruitment for a new Chair should have begun much earlier, at the same time as the recruitment process for non-executive directors of the Health Board.

He said: "The process should have been done and dusted in the late summer, as far as I'm concerned."

Who is Health looking for?

The Health Advisory Board's main goal is to oversee the transformation of the Health Department, with a stated focus on culture, value, and behaviours of colleagues and patients.

Monthly board meetings see senior figures present their department's performance that month. The point of the new model was to create an environment where they are held accountable, having to share often-unflattering figures and being grilled by both the board's Chair and non-executive directors.

The new Chair, according to the advert, will be considered " a founding member of the Board", and be "at the forefront of real change".

The advert describes a multi-faceted role with responsibilities including:

  • Leading the department and "driving improvements" across services

  • Building relationships with everyone ranging from staff to users

  • A commitment to "openness and clarity of purpose"

  • And building a "strong, effective Board"

While recruitment continues, the board, which was due to meet this morning, will be chaired by Non-Executive Director Carolyn Downs.

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