Study suggests that paying extra for NHS managers does not improve the quality of hospitals. Managers spend more time ticking boxes than on improving performance.

  • Study shows that increasing the number of health managers does not improve NHS hospitals.
  • Researchers also suggest  paying them more doesn’t aid the quality of hospitals
  • It is thought this is because managers spend more time on bureaucratic matters 

A study shows that increasing the number of health managers and paying higher salaries doesn’t improve quality in NHS hospitals.

People with many high-paid bosses are more likely to suffer from poor finances and long wait lists.

According to researchers, this may be because NHS managers are more focused on ticking boxes than trying to increase staff performance.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid with NHS staffs at the King's College hospital in London earlier this month. He told MPs last year he would be 'watchful for any waste or wokery' as he awarded the NHS a record funding boost

Sajid Javid, Health Secretary, with NHS staff at King’s College in London. As he granted the NHS record-breaking funding, Javid told MPs that he was ‘watchful’ for waste and wokery.

Researchers at London School of Economics (LSE), noted that they are not as flexible in their roles than leaders in the private sector.

Sajid Javid (Health Secretary) told MPs in 2013 that he will be “watchful for any waste” as he granted the NHS record funding.

These comments led to the speculation that there might be a reduction in highly paid managers, so that more money can be used for patient care.

Former vice chief of the defence staff Sir Gordon Messenger was named by Mr Javid to oversee a complete overhaul of NHS management.

This general led the Royal Marines invasion of Iraq and was asked how the NHS could improve its efficiency and provide better care.

Mr Javid pictured earlier this month. His comments last year led to speculation there could be a cut in the number of highly-paid managers so more money is available for patient care

This was Mr Javid as seen earlier this month. It was speculated that Mr Javid’s comments from last year could have led to a decrease in high-paid managers, so there is more money available for patient care

LSE’s study was published in Journal of Applied Public Economics. The data included data from 129 trusts, covering the period 2012/13 to 2018/19. This analysis looked at variables such as financial status, elective, emergency, waiting times, deaths, and more.

It was then compared with the total number of managers that each trust had and how much they were paid.

Economists stated that there was no correlation between their measures of quality management input and managerial quantity.

“Furthermore we found no association between our five measures of hospital performance and quantity of managerial input.”

The authors added that this holds regardless of whether we use managerial input in the form of number of managers, or management expenditures.

Employing more health managers or paying them higher salaries does not improve the quality of NHS hospitals, a study suggests (file photo used)

A study has shown that increasing the number of health managers and paying higher salaries doesn’t improve quality in NHS hospitals. (file photo).

According to researchers, there is also limited variation in salary and pensions for NHS managers. That means that it is difficult to find exceptional good or bad managers who can do a lot of damage to the overall performance of hospitals.

Chris Hopson of NHS Providers (which represents health trusts) stated that those in the most difficult roles should get similar rewards to those managing school academies.

Those leading of large chains have attracted salaries as high as £450,000.

The highest paid hospital chief executives are earning as much as £300,000.