The NHS has hired an army of ‘lived experience’ czars with salaries of up to £115,000, despite ministers pledging a war on waste.
The Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (MPFT) is recruiting a “lived experience manager” who must have experiences of “a life-altering health condition” and “significant power imbalances” in their use of health services.
The czar will “guarantee brave spaces” for people to give their feedback and they will be located at St George’s Hospital, in Stafford, on a salary of £110,000-115,000 a year, four times that of a newly qualified nurse or junior doctor.
They should also “seek out and heavily engage ‘underheard,’ underrepresented and/or disadvantaged groups” and be a “strategic bridge builder,” says one job ad.
An NHS source said such power imbalances would include “feeling disempowered, vulnerable and an individual’s own voice is lost” when using physical or mental secondary health services.
At least 20 roles of lived experience
The trust claims it is the first such board-level role in the health service, but The Telegraph has identified at least 20 “lived experience” job titles across seven NHS trusts, receiving total pay of at minus £600,000.
Friday night, the nhs He was accused of “inventing problems and creating jobs to solve them” as a former health minister asked for cash for direct patient care.
Steve Barclay, the health secretary, warned that overmanagement had become a burden, with 53,000 people working in official health agencies where most do not provide direct patient care and 400 bureaucrats making more than £100,000 a year on NHS England.
Other similar roles include three “advanced lived experience practitioners” at the Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust, each paid £37,152 to £43,994, for those with “lived experience of recovering from mental and emotional distress”.
An essential skill for the jobs is to “understand the importance of equality and diversity”, while those with protected characteristics such as race and gender reassignment must apply for three lived experience positions with Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Trust.
Lived experience directors ‘disrupt conventional thinking’
The NHS has previously listed being a “white ally” and acknowledging white privilege as examples of lived experiences, alongside mental health issues or “identifying” as autistic.
In January, Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust recruited two lived experience directors to “disrupt conventional thinking”, designed to “excite, inspire, empower and support diverse communities and rarely heard voices to keep the co-creation at its center”.
Sir John Hayes, chairman of the Common Sense Group of 60 Conservative MPs, said taxpayers’ money should not fund the spiral of “lifestyle jobs” across the public sector.
“There is a proliferation of peculiar jobs and roles in the public sector. All experience is lived, apart from the experience of death, ”he told The Telegraph.
This sounds like yet another example of the NHS making up problems and then create jobs to solve them.
“I am calling for this money to go immediately into direct patient care, and that means identifying diseases and treating them. Of course it is true that it is about well-being, but well-being is also the work of doctors and nurses, not bureaucrats.
‘These kinds of roles are revolutionary’
The first “lived experience patient manager” in the NHS was David Gilbert, who worked for the Sussex MSK Partnership from 2015 to 2021, but roles have since expanded.
Mr Gilbert said earlier: “These kinds of roles are revolutionary – they ensure that shared decision-making is modeled from ward to council, and that there can be a much greater focus on what is important to the people who use the services and your loved ones. .”
The trusts have pointed to guidelines produced by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence in June last year, which recommended that patient directors be appointed to promote “shared decision-making” and represent “underserved populations”.
Neil Carr, CEO of MPFT, said: “For almost 10 years, MPFT has been at the forefront of using the experience of the people who use our services to improve them…we are proud to continue our tradition of co-production by use of services. users, carers and staff to develop and shape services in MPFT”.
An NHS spokesperson said: “The NHS is one of the most efficient health services in the world, and although the roles referenced are not nationally funded, NHS England is working to reduce the number of its own positions. work by 30-40 percent with taxpayer money redistributed to fund patient care.”