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Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust finance manager paid £274 an hour, board papers reveal

By Angela Cole

The man put in charge of sorting out hospital finances has claimed a staggering £250,000, we can reveal.

Ian Miller, who joined the Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust as interim finance director, has been on £274 per hour for his work at the hospital between November 1 and April 2014.

Board papers for the trust, which runs Maidstone Hospital and the Tunbridge Wells at Pembury, reveal the NHS paid a total of £251,160 for his secondment to the role to his company – a consultancy firm called Maxentius & Co.

Maidstone hospital
Maidstone hospital

He was brought in to reduce a £10million deficit caused by incorrect financial planning around the costs of having to use temporary staff and the private finance costs of building the new hospital at Pembury.

It is understood Mr Miller's pay is thought to be one of the highest in the NHS nationally and equating to around £500,000 a year.

In comparison, a nurse might expect to earn between £21,500 to £29,000 a year.

Mr Miller, a chartered accountant, has since been replaced by permanent finance director Steve Orpin.

In the trust's annual report, just released, chief executive Glenn Douglas said in his report: "We managed to reduce our costs by £18million, we nevertheless ended the year with a deficit of £12.4m.

"Part of this overspend was caused by increasing our use of expensive agency doctors and nurses to meet unplanned spikes in demand."

A hospital spokesman said Mr Miller provided independent financial expertise not available within the trust at the time – and credited him with saving millions in efficiency savings.

"As a result the rust has an accepted plan in place that will return the organisation to financial balance, steadily and carefully," he added.

It is not the first time the NHS in Maidstone has hit the headlines for high payments to those overseeing the budgets.

In May 2012, we reported how then interim finance director Colin Gentle was paid £240,000 in 12 months.

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