A hospital consultant in Leeds was paid more than a quarter of a million pounds in a year, the YEP can reveal.
New figures show the NHS organisation’s highest paid staff member was an unnamed consultant who took home between £255,000 and £260,000 – some in overtime pay to cut waiting lists.
Maggie Boyle, chief executive of Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, earned £30,000 less than that - her salary for the financial year 2011-2012 was between £220,000 and £225,000.
NHS bodies are currently facing an unprecedented spending squeeze as they have to save 4 per cent of their budget every year.
In Leeds, savings of £32m were made last year while this year another £24m-worth have to be found. The hospitals trust also has to have a surplus of £10m in the bank by the end of next March.
A Trust spokesman said pay for consultants was set by a national pay scale.
On top of that, consultants can qualify for additional money through Clinical Excellence Awards - senior consultants doing cutting-edge work would be paid more as they would be higher up these two scales.
Government figures show the highest pay band for a consultant last year was £100,446, while the highest Clinical Excellence Award was worth £75,796.
Extra cash for the Leeds doctor came from working additional hours beyond their contract, thought to be to tackle a backlog of patients on waiting lists, but the figure did not include any work they may choose to do for private hospitals. A Trust spokesman said: “As a trust with two of the country’s leading teaching hospitals we have to ensure we employ and can retain some of the most notable experts in their field.”
Public sector workers earning more than £21,000 a year are on a two-year pay freeze.