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Hospice boss defends £60k-a-year salaries

Wellesbourne Airfield
Wellesbourne Airfield

It claimed Myton Hospice spends 6.6 per cent of its annual £10.9 million budget on the eight staff.

The Shakespeare Hospice in Stratford-upon-Avon confirmed to the Midweek that, of its 41 employees, one member of staff was on a salary of £60,000 or more.

Kate Lee, chief executive of Myton Hospice, believes the figures are misleading and do not tell the whole story.

Ms Lee said: “We are a very efficiently run charity, we make every penny count. If I employed twice as many people on half the salary we wouldn’t be in The Times.

“We employ a small team who ensure we continue to operate as an outstanding hospice, we are very transparent about how we operate.

“I could employ more people but they might not be able to do the job as well as the individuals we have working for us now. Our volunteers are absolutely superb and they do an incredible job. The suggestion that they are almost like slave labour is very insulting.”

Ms Lee added that of the £600,000 to £700,000 annual staffing costs at the hospice, half of it was spent on doctors’ wages whose salaries are set by the NHS.

Craig Duncan, director of finance and operations at Hospice UK, the country’s hospice membership body, also defended the salaries.

He said: “Senior hospice staff are responsible for the provision of expert care to 360,000 terminally ill and dying people and their families each year and for leading a complex range of services to support them. It is important to attract and retain the highest calibre of staff to lead and deliver these services.

“Most hospices are independent charities, which as care providers require highly skilled clinical staff. In addition to chief executives, hospice senior management teams often include palliative care consultants, whose salaries are usually based on NHS pay scales, and other highly qualified senior clinicians.

“Hospices across the country provide vital care free of charge for terminally ill and dying adults and children and also their families, including a wide range of services such as in-patient care, day care, hospice at home services and bereavement support.”

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