With record delays, an unprecedented nurses’ strike and the typical winter pressures already putting enormous strain on the NHS, one would think bosses would be investing every penny in front-line care.
But instead, the cash-strapped health service has posted an advert for a £115,000 a year “lived experience manager”, who is capable of creating “brave spaces”.
Critics argued that the six-figure paper was a “kick in the teeth” for taxpayers as millions of patients await the elective care backlog.
The advertisement, placed by the Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, boasts that it is the first such work in the health service.
The NHS has previously referred to experiencing racism or discrimination or being a ‘white ally’ and recognizing white privilege as examples of a ‘lived experience’.
NHS spending on ‘not jobs’ continues. Critics say the health service hiring a £115,000 director of lived experience who has “interpersonal talent” and a “strategic bridge builder” is a “kick in the teeth” for taxpayers.
The senior position at the Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust is being described as the first of its kind in the health service and the successful candidate must be able to create “brave spaces”.
Up to 60 PERCENT of operations canceled due to NHS strikes
As many as six in 10 routine operations have been canceled at hospitals disrupted by the biggest nurses’ strike in NHS history, health leaders said today.
Next week’s strikes, in which paramedics and 999 call handlers will join thousands of picketing nurses to demand pay increases to fight inflation, will be even more devastating for the British public, experts fear. .
Saffron Cordery, chief executive of NHS Providers, said the upcoming action will prove “very challenging” for the crippled health service, which is being hit by record delays and winter pressures.
Ministers are under increasing pressure from their own parliamentarians to resolve the strikes.
Up to 100,000 nurses from dozens of hospitals kicked off the NHS winter of discontent yesterday, braving snow and -8C temperatures. More actions are planned on Tuesday.
Ambulance workers from three unions will go on strike on Wednesday.
Read more about the impact of the strikes here.
Advertisements for the role, posted on the NHS recruitment website as well as third-party websites such as LinkedIn, say the successful candidate will be “interpersonally talented” and a “strategic bridge builder.”
They must also have ‘personal experience of life-altering health conditions’ and, having used health services, then ‘experience significant power imbalances’.
A companion document for applicants says that addressing power imbalances within the Trust will be one of the main functions of the successful candidate.
“The director will negotiate psychologically safe environments that allow individuals to co-produce and become equal partners in their care,” it read.
Another part of the document says the director will also need to create “courageous spaces” for patients and families to give feedback on the organization.
Other priorities include targeting ‘rarely heard of’ disadvantaged groups ‘who may experience health inequalities’.
Joe Ventre, digital campaign manager for TaxPayers’ Alliance, said trusts could not afford to waste money on ‘non-jobs’ at a time when the NHS was under so much financial pressure.
“Underpaid jobs like this are a kick in the teeth for hard-pressed taxpayers,” he said.
‘At a time when nurses are striking over wages and patients are waiting for delays, there can be no excuse for trusts to squander cash.
“The health service must end these correct roles and focus resources on front-line care.”
More than 7 million people in England, around one in eight people, are now on the NHS waiting list for elective care, with many living in significant pain while waiting for procedures such as knee and hip replacements.
The queues are expected to get even worse in response to the NHS strikes, which started yesterday with up to 100,000 nurses picketing.
A successful Director of Lived Experience candidate can expect a salary of between £110,000 and £115,000 per annum.
This equates to around four times as much as a newly qualified NHS nurse, who earns around £27,000.
More than 7.2 million patients in England were stuck in backlog in October (red line), or one in eight people. More than 400,000 have queued for at least a year (yellow bars)
But MPFT has defended publicity for the position.
Trust chief executive Neil Carr said: ‘For almost 10 years, MPFT has led the way in using the experience of people who use our services to improve them.
‘National guidance recommends appointing a patient manager who is responsible for raising the profile of the service user’s voice in planning, implementing and monitoring shared decision-making.
“We are proud to continue our tradition of co-production.”
This is not the first time the NHS has been criticized for offering high salaries for non-frontline jobs.
In October, the NHS came under fire for advertising £700,000 worth of diversity officer positions in just one month.
And previous research by MailOnline in August found five diversity roles, offering £76,000 per year to staff in senior equality roles.
Four of the five positions offered flexible work, with some actively encouraging people to work from home.
Continued NHS recruitment for such roles comes despite former Health Secretary Sajid Javid vowing to end “waste or waste” in the health service.
However, Steve Barclay, who now holds the post after being appointed by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, has yet to establish his position on the issue.
The advert for the Lived Experience Director position closes on January 8th.
In other NHS news…
Up to 60 PERCENT of operations have been canceled due to NHS strikes, as officials warn coordinated strikes by thousands of ambulance workers next week will be even worse.
Worst NHS week for ambulance deliveries: Over 12,500 patients rushed to hospital by 999 teams faced delays of over an HOUR before receiving treatment… as Strep A fears pile massive pressure on 111 teams paralyzed with a 60 PERCENT increase in calls
A further THREE children die of strep A in the UK as the death toll hits 19 and pharmacists gain power to prescribe alternative antibiotics due to drug shortages.