A HEALTH watchdog has hit out at a big pay rise for the boss of the trust that runs Solihull Hospital, saying the money should be spent instead on keeping MRSA out of wards.
Figures just released show Mark Goldman, chief executive of Heart of England Foundation Trust, saw his salary increase by £75,000 - or 48 per cent - in the three years to last March. He is now on £230,000-a-year.
His pay hike follows Heart of England gaining foundation status, which means it is now free from Government control over its finances and can be run like a private business.
The salary of the chairman of the trust, Clive Wilkinson, had his pay doubled from £25,000-a-year to £50,000 during the same three-year period.
Tony Field, of Birmingham-based MRSA Support, said the well-above inflation pay rises for foundation trust chiefs like Mr Goldman were "dis-graceful".
He added: "All this money is from the public purse, we pay these people's money and I don't think they are worth that wage."
He said he wanted to see health bosses forego huge rises so the money was "put back into paying more for proper disinfectant" to sort out the problem of cleanliness in hospitals once and for all.
Solihull councillor Jim Ryan, who is a Heart of England board member and played a leading role in saving Solihull Hospital from threatened closure in the 1990s, declared Mr Goldman's pay was "not excessive"
"He is running three hospitals, Solihull, Heartlands and Good Hope, and it's a very demanding job," he said. "He has my full support, as long as he delivers on providing good hospital services for local people, making sure the staff are well trained and the elimination of MRSA."