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Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells Trust: Pay

Volume 472: debated on Thursday 21 February 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what powers he has to (a) prevent and (b) limit the payment of severance pay to the former Chief Executive of the Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells Trust; and whether his Department has prevented or limited the severance payment to the former Chief Executive of the Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells Trust; (181830)

(2) on what grounds he determined that the severance payment to the former Chief Executive of the Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust should not be made.

The employment of staff, clinicians and managers within the national health service is a matter for local NHS boards. Secretaries of State have power to give directions to NHS trusts about their exercise of any functions, which may include the making of payments to staff. This power could still be relevant to any matters outstanding regarding severance payments.

In the case of Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells we asked the NHS trust to withhold any severance payment to the former chief executive prior to considering legal advice on the matter. We understand that the trust has since taken legal advice on this matter, and following that advice, has issued a statement that the former chief executive will be paid her legal entitlement of six months salary.