More than £46m of public money has been “wasted on 1,129 unnecessary jobs” in the NHS, including an art curator and a car park environmental officer, the TaxPayers’ Alliance (TPA) have claimed.
The alliance argued that the money could have instead paid for 1,662 full time nurses.
The majority of the money (£36m) was spent on 826 public relations roles, while £6.8m was spent on 165 equality and diversity staff, with £3.5m spent on 86 “green” staff, according to an investigation carried out by the campaign group.
Among the roles it identified after sending Freedom of Information requests to every NHS organisation in the UK was Homerton University Hospital Foundation Trust’s art curator and programme manager, who costs £33,258 a year after salary, pensions and a London weighting are taken into account.
Meanwhile, the Royal Free London Foundation Trust hired a car parking environmental officer at a cost of £34,854, while the University Hospitals Bristol Foundation Trust pay an administrator of green travel facilities £23,527, including pensions contributions.
In addition, Gateshead Foundation Trust have an energy management manager on the payroll at a cost of £40,654.
The organisation that hired the most PR staff was West and South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw Commissioning Support Unit, with 36 public relations workers at a cost of over £1.4m.
Five NHS trusts employed communications directors with salaries and pensions contributions topping £100,000 − Barts Trust, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals Foundation Trust, Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital Trust, North and East London CSU and Royal Brompton and Harefield Foundation Trust.
Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the Taxpayers’ Alliance, said: “Taxpayers expect the health budget to be spent on real doctors, not spin doctors. The NHS employs far too many people in jobs that do nothing to deliver frontline patient care.
“It’s time for health chiefs to launch a war on waste and ensure the NHS budget is spent on on patients rather than squandered on bureaucrats,” he said.
“A range of staff are needed to ensure that clinicians are free to get on with their work”
But Christina McAnea, head of health at Unison, said: “It is very foolish to speculate about the content of a job just from the title.
“The NHS is a very large and complex organisation with a multibillion-pound budget,” she said. “That means a range of staff are needed to ensure that clinicians are free to get on with their work.”