West Herts Hospitals Trust boss is fifth highest paid

PUBLISHED: 20:06 03 April 2010 | UPDATED: 15:02 06 May 2010

Jan Filochowski

Jan Filochowski

HOSPITAL trust enforcer Jan Filochowski has been revealed as one of the most highly-paid NHS managers in the country. Mr Filochowski was parachuted in to the West Herts Hospitals Trust (WHHT) shortly after previous chief executive David Law quit in Octo

HOSPITAL trust "enforcer" Jan Filochowski has been revealed as one of the most highly-paid NHS managers in the country.

Mr Filochowski was parachuted in to the West Herts Hospitals Trust (WHHT) shortly after previous chief executive David Law quit in October 2007 when it was rated one of the worst in the country.

His temporary tenure in the hot seat became permanent and this week a national newspaper revealed that he earned the fifth highest salary of an NHS manager in the country.

Mr Filochowski, who has been credited with turning around the fortunes of the hospitals trust, was paid a total of £246,000 in 2008/9 - which includes a 10 per cent bonus.

The four chief executives who earned more run trusts which are considerably bigger and Mr Filochowski is understood to earn more than Sir David Nicholson, chief executive of the NHS.

Mr Filochowski's permanent appointment as chief executive of WHHT - which takes in St Albans City, Hemel Hempstead and Watford Hospitals - was made without the trust going through a recognised appointment process.

It has come in for some criticism from the East of England Strategic Health Authority (SHA) with chair Keith Pearson suggesting that the appointment process did not fully meet, "the standards expected at this level" because there had been no open competition.

The SHA had commissioned an independent review and report on the appointment in which human resources consultant Janine Smith revealed that Mr Filochowski had expressed his unwillingness to go through an appointment process believing that would show he did not have the confidence of the trust board.

The Dacorum Hospital Action Group, which fought to prevent the closure of A&E at Hemel Hempstead Hospital, has now called on him to stand down. Chair Betty Harris said: "He came as an interim manager for a specified period, that is how things should have stayed."

In a statement this week, the WHHT said that the SHA report made it clear that the actions of the trust were based on a clear desire to achieve the best outcome for the organisation and for the users of its services. Legal advice was sought on the trust's actions.

David McNeil, director of communications at WHHT, said: "Patients would expect an organisation the size of West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust to have the very best leadership and in Jan Filochowski, the report confirms that it has the right man for the job."

The trust also maintained that Mr Filochowski's salary was commensurate with the challenge of the job. A spokesperson said: "The significant improvements in financial grip and service performance over the two years that Mr Filochowski has been with the trust demonstrate the need for a talented and professional leader.

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