Tagged: Secretary of State for Health

Outrageous levels of child poverty in the North must be tackled says former MP

Action is needed to tackle “outrageous” levels of child poverty in parts of the region, campaigners have urged.

It comes as figures suggest nine of the 12 North East councils have wards where more than 20% of children live in pockets of severe poverty.

The worst areas were in Middlesbrough (33%), Hartlepool (29%), Newcastle (28%) and South Tyneside (26.5%).

The North East Child Poverty Commission warned inflation, unemployment and cuts could see levels of deprivation spiral.

> Oh wow – they’re on the ball, aren’t they ?  What do they think has been happening these last few years ?

The group has produced a map of child poverty for every ward, council and constituency in the region.

The map classes children as living in poverty if they are in families on out of work benefits or work tax credits where income is less than 60% of median – before housing costs.

Alan Milburn, who chairs the Social Mobility and Child Poverty (SMCP) commission said current levels of child poverty in the North are a “moral outrage” and have to change.

> MP for Darlington from 1992 until 2010. He served for five years in the Cabinet, first as Chief Secretary to the Treasury from 1998 to 1999, and subsequently as Secretary of State for Health until 2003.

A strong supporter of Tony Blair‘s policies, especially his continued policy of increased private involvement in public service provision

Following his resignation as Secretary of State for Health (to spend more time with his family), Milburn took a post for £30,000 a year as an advisor to Bridgepoint Capital, a venture capital firm heavily involved in financing private health-care firms moving into the NHS, including Alliance Medical, Match Group, Medica and the Robinia Care Group. He has been Member of Advisory Board of PepsiCo since April 2007.

Another New Labour “socialist” you could trust with your life… if you’re tired of living.

The former Labour cabinet minister said: “Poor kids in the region are four times as likely to be poor adults.

“The poorest kids in the region’s schools face a double whammy. They arrive at primary school less ready to learn than their more privileged peers and only a third leave primary school with the required levels of reading and writing.

“Two in three of those kids then leave secondary school without five good GCSEs. The challenge we have in this country is at large in the North.

“Children post 16 are more likely to drop out of education than anywhere else in the country. The region also has the lowest rate of children going to university.

“It is more clear than ever that effective collaboration at all levels of government is required to help ensure the right conditions for children living in these deprived communities.”

The figures come three days before a group of young people from the region march on Parliament to give MPs their views on how to tackle child poverty.

As reported  last week, more than half of the 38-strong cohort of youngsters that have been working on a children’s manifesto hail from the region.

They will present their national findings to an All Party Parliamentary Group on Wednesday.

Source –  Sunday Sun, 12 Oct 2014

 

North East NHS managers get pay rises as nurses’ salaries cut in real terms

Health chiefs have received pay rises of up to 17% while nurses and health care assistants experience real term cuts topping 12%, a union has revealed.

Analysis of senior executive NHS pay by the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has shown that bosses at hospital trusts in the region were awarded salary increases averaging 10.5% between 2010 and 2013, while mid-band nurses managed a paltry 0.1%. Taking into account inflation some suffered a real terms cut of 12%.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt previously warned that health service employees would face a pay freeze until March 2016 and that they might not get the 1% promised for 2014 unless unions accept greater pay restraint.

Glenn Turp, regional director for the RCN northern region, said: “Frontline nurses and health care assistants have already borne the brunt of the Government’s pay restraint policy over many years. And we know that, once inflation is factored in, NHS salaries have in fact been cut between 8% and 12% in real terms, between the period 2010 and 2014.

“The Chancellor promised to deliver a 1% pay rise this year for the front line, but the Secretary of State for Health is now trying to introduce a further pay freeze until March 2016.

“This is completely unacceptable. It is particularly galling that the Government is quite happy for NHS managers to get significant pay rises, while at the same time, the front line takes another hit.

“A 1% pay increase is a perfectly reasonable and proportionate request, particularly when put in the context of the rises in senior managers’ pay. The Government needs to stop having one rule for the frontline nursing staff, and another for senior bosses.”

The RCN northern region compared the salaries of chief executives across all North East trusts for the financial year 2010-11, with the most recent financial year data available, 2012-13.

Ian Renwick, chief executive of Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust, received the largest pay rise of 17% as his wages jumped from £190,000 to just under £223,000.

Jim Mackey from Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust saw his salary rise 9%, from £211,000 to £230,000.

Newcastle Hospital’s NHS Foundation Trust’s chief executive, Sir Leonard Fenwick, is paid the most at £246,000, although the trust has insisted he has had no pay rise in three years, despite the RCN suggesting he had received a 6% increase.

A spokesperson for Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust said: “The salaries of our chief executive and of all our executive directors are decided by an independent nominations and remuneration committee and this is to ensure they are in line with publicly available salary benchmarking information.

“As one of the country’s top performing NHS Foundation Trusts, it is important that those with ultimate accountability are remunerated appropriately so that we can retain the very best healthcare leaders in the North East NHS.”

Figures show that a mid-band 5 nurse salary in the North East increased from £23,563 in 2010/11 to just £23,589 in 2012/13, a rise of just 0.1%. In 2011-12 a pay freeze was implemented by the Government to NHS staff earning more than £21,000.

A spokesperson from Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust said: “The remuneration of our leadership team is decided independently to make sure that salaries are in line with those of other high performing NHS organisations.

“To be clear, however, along with the rest of our staff, no director at Northumbria Healthcare has had an increase in pay since the pay freeze was implemented in 2011/12.”

Last night, the Department of Health defended its decision to limit pay rises for NHS frontline staff.

A spokesperson said: “The NHS is rightly playing its role in public sector pay restraint.

“Average pay has increased by around 1%. Despite this, many NHS staff continue to be well paid for the lifesaving work they do and the majority of staff have received additional incremental pay increases of up to 6%.

“The number of admin staff, managers and senior managers in the NHS has fallen by over 21,000. This will lead to a significant reduction in managers’ costs.”

Source – Newcastle Journal  03 Feb 2014