GPC contracts and performance subcommittee chairman Dr John Canning said while GPs rightly felt resentment at having to do more work for less money, there was no point in directing that resentment at highly paid managers in other parts of the health service.
Dr Canning was responding to a survey by The Daily Telegraph which revealed more than 7,800 NHS staff were paid over £100,000 last year. The Telegraph reported that the figures showed senior NHS staff had been protected from cuts with the number on six-figure salaries increasing over the past three years.
Dr Peter Carter, chief executive of the Royal College of Nursing, said the salaries sent the ‘wrong message’ at a time of cuts and pay freezes for front-line staff.
But Dr Canning said if the health service wanted highly professional senior managers to run multi-million pound trusts then it had to pay salaries to compete with the private sector.
‘You get what you pay for with management,' he said. ‘It is good to get managers in from the private sector with those skills. So from that perspective I don’t have a problem with people getting paid what is commensurate with work in the private sector.
‘What I have a problem with is that [senior managers in the health service] are not in any way as accountable as people in the private sector,' he added.