With record backlogs, an unprecedented nurses’ strike and typical winter pressures already putting immense strain on the NHS, one might think bosses would be pumping every penny into frontline care.
But instead the cash-strapped health service has posted an advert for a £115,000-a-year ‘director of lived experience’, who is capable of creating ‘brave spaces’.
Critics argued the six-figure role was a ‘kick in the teeth’ to taxpayers, as millions of patients wait on the elective care backlog.
The ad, placed by the Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, boasts how it is the first job of its kind in the health service.
The NHS has previously referred to experiencing racism or discrimination or being a ‘white ally’ and recognising white privilege as examples of a ‘lived experience’.
NHS spend on ‘non-jobs’ continues. Critics say the health service recruiting a £115,000 director of lived experience who is ‘interpersonally talented’ and a ‘strategic bridge-builder’ is a ‘kick in the teeth’ to taxpayers
The very senior role at Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust is described as the first of its kind in the health service with the successful candidate needing to be capable of creating ‘brave spaces’
Up to 60 PER CENT of ops were cancelled due to NHS strikes
Up to six in 10 routine operations were cancelled at hospitals disrupted by the NHS’ biggest ever nurses’ strike, health leaders claimed today.
Next week’s walk-outs – which will see paramedics and 999 call handlers join thousands of nurses in taking to picket lines demanding inflation-busting pay rises – will be even more devastating for the British public, experts fear.
Saffron Cordery, chief executive of NHS Providers, said the looming action will prove ‘very challenging’ for the crippled health service, which is being battered by record backlogs and winter pressures.
Ministers are under mounting pressure from their own MPs to resolve the strikes.
Up to 100,000 nurses from dozens of hospitals kick-started the NHS’s winter of discontent yesterday, braving snow and -8C temperatures. More action is planned on Tuesday.
Ambulance workers from three unions will then stage a walk-out on Wednesday.
Read more in the impact of the strikes here.
Ads for the role, posted on the NHS’s recruitment website as well as third party websites such as LinkedIn, say the successful candidate will be ‘interpersonally talented’ and a ‘strategic bridge-builder’.
They must also have a ‘personal experience of life-altering health condition(s)’ and, having used health services, then ‘experienced significant power imbalances’.
A supplementary document for applicants says tackling power imbalances within the Trust will be one of the main roles for the successful candidate.
‘The director will broker psychologically safe environments that allow people to co-produce and become equal partners in their care,’ it reads.
Another part of the document says the director will also need to make ‘brave spaces’ for patients and families to be able to give feedback on the organisation.
Other priorities include seeking out ‘seldom heard’ disadvantaged groups ‘who may experience health inequalities’.
Joe Ventre, digital campaign manager of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said trusts could ill-afford to squander cash on ‘non-jobs’ at time the NHS was under such financial strain.
‘Well-paid non-jobs like this are a kick in the teeth for hard-pressed taxpayers,’ he said.
‘At a time when nurses are striking over pay and patients wait on backlogs, there can be no excuse for trusts squandering cash.
‘The health service must put an end to these right-on roles and focus resources on frontline care.’
Over 7million people in England, about one in eight people, are now on the NHS waiting list for elective care, with many living in significant pain as they wait for procedures like knee and hip replacements.
Queues are expected to get even worse in response to NHS strikes, which began yesterday with up to 100,000 nurses taking to picket lines.
A successful candidate for the director of lived experience can expect a salary between £110,000 and £115,000 per year.
This amounts to around four times as much as a newly qualified NHS nurse, who earns about £27,000.
More than 7.2million patients in England were stuck in the backlog in October (red line)— or one in eight people. More than 400,000 have queued for at least one year (yellow bars)
But MPFT has defended advertising for the position.
Trust chief executive Neil Carr said: ‘For almost 10 years, MPFT has been leading the way in using the experience of people who use our services to improve them.
‘National guidance recommends appointing a patient director who is responsible for raising the profile of the service user voice in planning, implementing and monitoring shared decision making.
‘We are proud to be continuing our tradition of co-production.’
This is not the first time the NHS has been criticised for offering high salaries for non-frontline roles.
In October, the NHS was slammed for advertising £700,000’s worth of diversity officer roles in just one month.
And a previous investigation by MailOnline in August found five diversity roles, offering £76,000 per year to staff in senior equality roles.
Four out of the five roles offered flexible working, with some actively encouraging people to work from home.
The continued NHS recruitment to such roles comes despite ex-Health Secretary Sajid Javid vowing to stamp out ‘waste or wokery’ in the health service.
However, Steve Barclay, who now holds the role after being appointed by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, is yet to set out his position on the issue.
The ad for the director of lived experience role closes on January 8.
In other NHS news…
Up to 60 PER CENT of ops were cancelled due to NHS strikes – as officials warn co-ordinated walk-outs by thousands of ambulance workers next week will be even worse
NHS’s worst EVER week for ambulance handovers: More than 12,500 patients rushed to hospital by 999 crews faced delays of over an HOUR before getting treated… as Strep A fears pile massive pressure on crippled 111 teams with 60 PER CENT increase in calls
Another THREE kids die of Strep A in UK as death toll hits 19 and pharmacists get power to prescribe alternative antibiotics because of drug shortage
Read the full article here