THE WAGES of NHS bureaucrats have increased by 116 per cent in Hounslow in the last two years - the highest increase in the country.
The managerial wage bill at Hounslow Primary Care Trust soared from £2.2million in 2007/8 to £4.7m in 2009/10 - an increase well above the average national rise of 25 per cent.
The findings from an investigation by Pulse, a magazine for GPs, come after the Chronicle revealed that two of Hounslow's top NHS bosses were earning more than £200,000 a year.
Last year chief executive Nick Relph's salary was between £200,000 and £205,000, while finance boss Darren Cattell's eight-month contract earned him £20,000 a month. Government guidance in 2002 recommended PCT chief executives earn no more than £107,500.
Mike Penning, Conservative shadow health minister, said: "These are shocking increases in the costs of bureaucracy and management within the NHS. It is inevitable the rises must be keeping money away from patient care and the front line."
A spokesman for NHS Hounslow said that, although the wage bill had risen, the increase as a percentage of net operating costs was not as high as the headline figure.
He added: "NHS Hounslow has had a financially-challenged past which required highly specialised people to take the organisation forward.
"This expenditure on high quality managers has been justified by achieving a financially balanced position in 2008/09, while in addition, we paid off £3.75m of our historic deficit. "This achievement has been reflected in our improved use of resources rating from the Care Quality Commission published in October 2009.
"While we have plans to reduce spending on interim staff, we are committed to providing value for money and commissioning quality services for the population of Hounslow."