Revealed: Former Barrow hospital chief exec kept £150k salary and company car
Last updated at 12:43, Thursday, 21 March 2013
HOSPITAL bosses have finally released details of the secret deal struck with former Furness General Hospital chief executive Tony Halsall.
Information released today following calls from the Evening Mail to reveal details of Mr Halsall's departure show the maligned boss pocketed £250,000 as part of the agreement that saw him step down from his post.
The deal has been branded "shameful" by Barrow and Furness MP John Woodcock. South Lakes MP Tim Farron welcomed the decision to finally make the details of the arrangement public but said the public was paying "too much for the failure that (Mr Halsall) presided over".
University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust chairman John Cowdall confirmed an agreement was made that would see Mr Halsall paid his full salary for over a year despite stepping down from the role on February 24 last year.
The former chief executive took up a secondment with the NHS Confederation, with the trust paying his £150,000 a year salary.
He also kept his benefits, including a company car and £5,000 worth of career management advice.
In return, Mr Halsall waived his statutory employment protection rights and signed a confidentiality clause preventing both parties from revealing details of the agreement.
The full statement from newly appointed trust chairman John Cowdall is below, along with comments from Mr Woodcock and Mr Farron..
He said: “It has been decided at the end of the secondment with the NHS confederation that the Trust will pay Mr Halsall for notice, which is due under the terms of the legal agreement concluded with him in February 2012. This will end his employment with the Trust. Mr Halsall is entitled under his existing agreement to six months’ notice or salary in lieu of notice.
"The compromise agreement that he and the Trust signed in February 2012 contained a confidentiality clause which is standard when these agreements are negotiated. Such a clause prevented both the Trust and Mr Halsall from revealing any details of the agreement.
“I am aware that this clause has caused a great deal of disquiet in the minds of many individuals, including representatives of the media.
“It is for this reason that I am making public the terms of the severance arrangements that have applied. I would like to stress that Mr Halsall has received no more than his contractual entitlement. Notice periods of six months are common for appointments at this level and enable employers to advertise for and recruit a successor.
“The financial arrangements under which Mr Halsall was seconded to the NHS Confederation may well attract criticism. I would simply state that those arrangements facilitated the departure of the former Chief Executive and avoided the potential for a long drawn out dispute that would have been expensive and time consuming and also, enabled the Trust to move quickly to restructure the Board and recruit a new Chief Executive. The arrangement was also of benefit to the NHS more generally through the work Mr Halsall was able to perform through the NHS Confederation.
“I would add that these arrangements are being made public because both the Trust and I are determined to have such matters dealt with in an open and transparent manner.
“The public interest arguments for making such information freely available are overwhelming and with that in mind, I can confirm that any compromise agreements that are entered into from now, will not be the subject of any confidentiality provisions or so called ‘gagging’ clauses, which may prevent disclosure of matters which are in the public interest.”
Mr Woodcock added: "Covering up the fact that this former chief executive remained on the books and continued in secret to claim a hefty salary from local health coffers is shameful act unworthy of our National Health Service.
“The managers of the time may try to say that a secondment was the easiest way to ensure a swift change could be made, but whether or not that is true their failure to be straight with the public is inexcusable.
“And this attempt to bury the news on budget day suggests the new management team have not learnt the lessons of the past."
Mr Farron said: "I have repeatedly called on the trust to let us know the level of this severance package. I have said all along that taxpayers have the right to know. The level of this package will shock people.
“I really do welcome the move by the new management to release this information today. They have started to turn the corner and this should be acknowledged. I will keep working with them to improve services and health outcomes.”
- See today's edition of the Evening Mail for the full story
First published at 15:47, Wednesday, 20 March 2013
Published by http://www.nwemail.co.uk
Have your say
And Trust are looking at ways to save money by transferring services and closing units. The amount of money Halsall has been "gifted" would pay a nurses salary for about ten years. This Trust is an unbelievable disgrace.
One word to describe this! DISCRAGEFUL!!!!!!
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