The head of an NHS integrated care board has said she will return a bonus paid for her management of the Covid pandemic, following queries about the payment from a health publication.
After the Health Service Journal (HSJ) asked for more information about the payments, the chief executive of Hampshire and Isle of Wight ICB, Maggie MacIsaac, confirmed she was to return the Covid-related performance payment within her bonus. This was, she said, because she recognised the impact of the cost of living crisis on NHS staff.
In April 2021, the government announced that health and social care workers in England would not receive any Covid bonus, unlike in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland because of the cost.
However, guidance suggested that payments could be made for certain groups of staff – who did not normally get overtime pay – for Covid-related work.
According to the HSJ, MacIsaac – who was also CEO of Portsmouth Clinical Commissioning Group – received an “additional performance payment” in 2020-21 in “recognition of the CEO’s response [to] and management [of] the pandemic for the Hampshire and Isle of Wight system”.
This payment, which related to her role as CEO of Hampshire, Southampton and Isle of Wight CCG, came on top of further performance related payments. These totalled between £25,000 and £30,000 on top of a salary (for running the two CCGs) of about £200,000 in 2021-22.
In response to the HSJ’s questions the Hampshire, Southampton and Isle of Wight ICB said MacIsaac “felt it was right to revisit the decision made by Hampshire, Southampton and Isle of Wight CCG’s remuneration committee” because she recognised the impact of “rising inflation and increased costs of living” on NHS staff.
A spokeswoman said the ICB and MacIsaac had “together agreed that she will return the Covid-related performance payment”.
In April 2021 the CEO of a Cornish NHS trust apologised to staff after four board directors were paid overtime for work during the peak of the Covid pandemic. Matthew Patrick told staff the issue was “particularly sensitive when I know you have all been working so hard over the past year to keep people safe and well”.
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