Hospices are not strictly in the different Regional Health Services. They are usually charities, and they are stronger in cities, where populations are high, and where rich people live. The cradle to grave Health Service is not reality for many of us.
Yes, the fundraisers for these charities should know what is spent on the staff and administration, and how much is raised annually, but running a hospice can be a stressful and demanding role, with much time “on call”. In addition the staff, usually from the Health Services, are excluded from Health Service pensions. So need to contribute to their own pension …. all this does not mean they are paid too much/little. It’s just that the figures should all be on their websites, along with their accounts.
Charities that rely on hundreds of volunteers to provide end-of-life care are paying staff up to £160,000 a year.
An investigation by The Times has found that 240 hospice bosses and senior consultants are earning more than £60,000 a year, with at least 25 earning six-figure sums.
Medical charities have come under pressure recently over executives’ large salaries. Nine senior staff at Cancer Research UK earn more than £150,000 and Marie Stopes International, a sexual health charity, paid Simon Cooke, its chief executive, up to £380,000 last year.
Hospices of comparable size have huge discrepancies in the salaries they pay. Only a third of about 250 hospices in England and Wales pay any employee more than £60,000 a year but those that do spend up to 7p in every £1 of income on these high-earning staff.
MPs and campaigners said that they were horrified by the amount going to senior staff. The figures are likely to fuel a growing debate about excess in the charity sector. Hospices, which typically run inpatient units as well as employing staff to visit the homes of terminally ill patients, are funded by millions of pounds of donations, in some cases topped up by NHS grants.
Andrew Bridgen, the Conservative MP for North West Leicestershire and a patron of Hospice Help, said: “The vast majority [of hospice workers] are made up of volunteers giving their time for absolutely nothing. [Large salaries] would sit uneasily with the volunteers. I think they’d be horrified.”
Mr Bridgen called for charities to disclose the proportion of money spent on administrative costs. “That would enable people to make an informed choice when they give to a charity,” he said.
Roger Goss, the co-director of Patient Concern, said: “Many people will be shocked, when they thought this sort of organisation was driven by altruism and a desire to help people rather than create highly paid jobs.”
An analysis of the financial accounts for about 250 hospices in England and Wales for 2013-14, the most recent year available, found that at least 82 paid at least one member of staff more than £60,000 a year.
Hospices with the highest proportion of funds paid to management and senior medical staff include St Gemma’s Hospice in Leeds, which had a bill of between £630,000 and £700,000 for seven staff earning more than £60,000 a year. Kerry Jackson, the hospice’s chief executive, said the amount paid to those top staff was competitive.
The Myton Hospices in Warwickshire paid eight people more than £60,000, almost 6.6 per cent of its income. Thames Hospice, in Berkshire and Buckinghamshire, paid four staff a total of £290,000 to £330,000 against income of £5.4 million.
Myton Hospices said it was important to “attract the highest calibre of clinical and non-clinical managers”.
Thames Hospice said salaries were benchmarked against services of a similar size and demographic.
Charities must disclose the salaries of those earning more than £60,000 a year, in pay bands of £10,000.
Asheem Singh, director of policy at the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations, called on charities to justify paying staff high wages or risk losing the public’s trust.
He said: “We would recommend that charity boards and trustees are transparent. Ultimately if they don’t do that they will lose trust.”
St Gemma’s, Leeds
Total income £9.7 million
Total management bill in 2013-14 (those earning £60,000+) £630,000 to £700,000
Highest salary £130,000 to £140,000
Myton hospices, Warwickshire
Income £10.6 million
Management bill £640,000 to £700,000
Highest salary £100,000 to £110,000
Thames Hospice, Windsor
Income £5.4 million
Management bill £290,000-£330,000
Highest salary £80,000-£90,000