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Belfast Trust senior staff among top paid across whole NHS

The Belfast Trust is in the top four per cent of NHS high salaries across the UK

ENORMOUS pay packets for top managers and senior doctors puts the Belfast health trust in the top four per cent of NHS high salaries across the UK, according to newly-released statistics.

A total of 375 employees are paid more than £100,000 a year by the Trust, 16 of which are `non-clinical' staff, with 71 doctors paid more than £200,000 annually.

The figures are contained in a Public Sector Rich List compiled by the TaxPayers' Alliance.

Northern Ireland's five main health trusts shares £42 million between their highest earning staff in 2013-14.

It also reveals that a single consultant from the Western Health and Social Care Trust collects £343,210 a year out of almost £7 million paid out to its highest earners each year.

Meanwhile, three `non-clinical' managers at the Southern Trust each earned £200,000 a year.

It comes after a review into Northern Ireland's health service earlier this year, led by the former chief medical officer of England, Sir Liam Donaldson, said there are too many hospitals for the 1.8 million population.

The Donaldson report found the current structures do not allow the public to receive the best healthcare.

Ealier this month, it was revealed that only a quarter of women in Northern Ireland’s largest health trust are getting crucial breast cancer checks in time due to short term staffing pressures".

And in January 2014 - during the period covered in the report - a major incident was declared at Belfast's Royal Victoria Hospital due to a backlog of patients.

The following day dozens of workers gathered outside the hospital to protest against what they claimed was a critical state of services there.

A Belfast trust spokeswoman said the figures represent only a small fraction of its staff.

"Belfast Trust as the second largest trust in the United Kingdom, employing 20,000 staff and providing integrated health and social care to the population of Belfast and commissioned to provide specialist regional services for Northern Ireland," she said.

"A very small proportion of our staff, the vast majority of whom are medica,l were paid in excess of 100k."

Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said there should not be "rewards" for those at the top when their organisations are struggling.

"It's an insult to taxpayers, but it's even worse for the patients who have suffered because of mismanagement, and worse.

"The rewards-for-failure culture is rife in the NHS and it must be stamped out as a matter of urgency."

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