Healthcare charity chief received £28,000 payment as bonus scheme closed

- This article has been updated; please see final paragraph.

The chief executive of St Andrew’s Healthcare received a payment of about £28,000 last year as the charity closed a performance-related bonus scheme, latest figures show.

The charity’s accounts for the year to 31 March 2020 show chief executive Katie Fisher was paid between £303,000 in basic salary, up from the equivalent of £275,000 in the previous year. 

Fisher was paid between £230,000 and £240,000 in 2018/19, but that was because she started her role partway through the financial year.

The charity said the year on year increase in her salary was because of a bonus scheme that closed in 2018, which had previously offered its senior leaders the opportunity to earn performance-related bonuses of up to 60 per cent of their salary.

As part of the scheme’s closure, a buyout took place during the following financial year that led to the change in total remuneration for some of its senior leaders.

The charity said Fisher’s pay was comparable with similar roles in the healthcare sector and she had agreed to reduce her pay by about a fifth from January this year.

Fisher’s predecessor, Gil Baldwin, had been one of the highest-paid people in the voluntary sector. He took home £496,000 in 2017/18, including six months’ pay in lieu of notice, meaning his basic salary was £328,000.

A spokesperson for St Andrew’s Healthcare said: “Since joining the charity in 2018, Katie has demonstrated significant commitment to ensuring all members of staff are treated fairly. As such she removed the longstanding bonus scheme which rewarded senior leaders for their performance.”

The charity also said that a second employee whose salary was more than £330,000 was a one-off, because it related to a consultant psychiatrist who undertook extra consultancy work for its private therapy clinic in addition to their primary role.

Total income at the charity fell slightly to £204m compared with the previous year, while total spending increased by about £3m to £212.2m.

Expenditure on charitable activities increased by more than £2m year on year to £193.3m.

The charity’s total assets reduced by more than £11m to £218m and it maintains reserves of £216m.

Salary and wage costs for the charity’s more than 4,200 staff rose by nearly £7m to £134.2m, which included £900,000 in redundancy costs.

St Andrew’s Healthcare said it had implemented a transformation programme over the past two years in an attempt to improve patient care.

The spokesperson said: “One element of this has been to ‘right-size’ our services and reduce the number of inpatients we care for, while seeking to expand the charity’s reach in other areas. This resulted in the planned deficit that is in our accounts and also explains the redundancy payments.

“We anticipate seeing this deficit reduce in the next few years, as we focus on providing more care in the community, which aligns with the national goals outlined in the NHS long-term plan.”

The charity also said that none of its management team received a pay rise or bonus during the 2020/21 financial year and no new pay awards were approved.

The spokesperson added: “Demonstrating a personal commitment to the changes within the charity and scale of the transformation programme, from January 2021 Katie also decided to take a 19 per cent reduction in her annual pay.”

- The article was updated on 16 February 2021. It previously said the chief executive had received a £60,000 payment but this was not comparing like for like with the previous year.

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