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West Middlesex Hospital finance director cost £280,000 for eight months' work

Jonathan Molyneux, who has since left, oversaw a huge increase in the hospital's deficit

West Middlesex Hospital's former finance chief cost £280,000 for just eight months work last year, as the hospital slipped a further £7.8m into the red.

Jonathan Molyneux was interim finance director at the hospital, in Isleworth, from January 2014 to November 30.

During the last financial year, he cost the hospital £275,000-£280,000, including agency fees and VAT, for the eight months he worked there, the trust's accounts show. Using the upper sum, that means he was costing the hospital £420,000 a year to employ.

Mr Molyneux also cost the hospital £40,000-£45,000 during 2013/14 for less than three months' work.

During 2014/15 - for most of which he was in charge of the coffers - the hospital's deficit swelled £7.8m to a whopping £30.9m. That was despite the hospital having a statutory duty to break even for the year.

Jon Bell, the hospital's current interim director of finance, who started in January this year, is on a comparatively modest salary of £55,000 to £60,000, the accounts show, slightly less than the £65,000-£70,000 received by medical director Roger Chinn.

Mr Molyneux was not the hospital's only big earner last year.

Jonathan Molyneux, West Middlesex Hospital's former interim finance director

Former chief executive Jacqueline Docherty, who left in March, was paid £195,000-£200,000 in 2014/15, as well as receiving up to £37,500 in pension-related benefits.

The accounts do not state how much new chief executive Jacqueline Totterdell, who only took up the role in March, earns.

A fully qualified NHS nurse starts on between £21,692 and £28,180, meaning it would take one nurse up to 13 years to earn what Mr Molyneux cost the hospital in just eight months.

The amount Mr Molyneux cost also dwarfed the earnings of Prime Minister David Cameron, whose annual salary was £142,500 before the 10% pay rise for all MPs was approved this year. Hounslow Council's chief executive Mary Harpley, by comparison, earns up to £180,828 a year.

'We needed to attract and retain the best possible talent'

A West Mid spokesman claimed the high wages reflected the complex responsibilities of those involved in the ongoing acquisition of the hospital by Chelsea & Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

"For the past three years, we have been working through an acquisition process with Chelsea & Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust," he said.

"As we have moved closer to this acquisition, permanent members of our executive board have gradually left the organisation and in order to fulfil our statutory duty of having a full board team it has been necessary to recruit on an interim basis.

"We needed to attract and retain the best possible talent to ensure we had the right people in place to deliver the acquisition and effectively manage the day-to-day running of the trust, including delivery of safe, high quality services.

"This has given members of our executive team a range of different challenges and therefore the complexity of their responsibilities around the acquisition was reflected in their remuneration packages.

"The trust has faced financial challenges for a number years and is one of the key drivers for joining forces with Chelsea & Westminster Hospital. Together the two hospitals will be a more resilient organisation able to manage and mitigate these types of pressures in the future."

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