Cash-strapped NHS pays out £1.2million to cover for senior manager who hasn’t been seen at work for the past three years
- Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS paid Stewart Messer, 57, over £750,000
- The trust also spent about £500,000 on chief operating officers to cover for him
- It has emerged he left the trust in February this year with a £243,468 pay-off
Stewart Messer, 57, (pictured) banked more than £750,000 in pay and pensions
Bosses at a cash-strapped NHS trust paid out £1.2million to cover a senior manager who was off work for almost three years.
Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust sparked fury after it emerged that Stewart Messer, 57, had banked more than £750,000 in pay and pensions.
The trust also spent about £500,000 on interim chief operating officers to cover for him during his absence from May 2015.
Mr Messer earned £120,000 a year at the trust, which had a £59million deficit in 2015/16. It has now emerged he left the trust in February this year with a £243,468 pay-off. Neither the trust or Mr Messer have disclosed the reason for his absence.
Heart patient Jim Walker, 50, from Worcester, said: ‘At a time when the NHS – and this trust in particular – is in dire straits, to splash out £1million on one director who hasn’t even worked for three years is nothing short of scandalous.’ Mr Messer, who lives on a private estate in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, said: ‘I have worked in the NHS for 39 years and I would have liked to return to my job but I have not been given an opportunity.’
A spokesman for the trust said: ‘We have fulfilled our legal obligation to publish information regarding the remuneration of Mr Messer up until he left the employment of the trust, as well as details of all exit packages agreed during the year.’
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Neither the trust or Mr Messer have disclosed the reason for his prolonged absences
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