A DIRECTOR of the Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospital Trust is earning £240,000 a year - more even than the Prime Minister.
Professor Timothy Evans is medical director and deputy chief executive of the foundation trust.
This week, the trust defended the annual salary, saying Professor Evans was worth it.
A trust spokesperson said: "Professor Evans's salary reflects the responsibilities of his roles as deputy chief executive, medical director, professor of intensive care medicine and director of the adult intensive care unit, and director of research at Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Foundation Trust.
"He holds multiple positions on advisory panels relating to his areas of expertise, and is the author of more than 300 peer-reviewed papers, reviews and editorials.
"Professor Evans has raised more than £8million in research funds since 1990."
The sum is modest by the standards of industry, but might raise eyebrows in a period of swingeing public sector cuts and pay restraint.
He is the seventh highest-ear ning NHS executive in the country, and the fourth highest of any foundation trust.
Malcom Brown, 64, who lives in Newdigate Road East, Harefield, a patient and supporter of Harefield Hospital, said: "It is disgusting that he earns even more than the Prime Minister.
"The staff on the front line deser ve the salary if anyone does.
"There is no need to pay senior staff that high rate.
"If it wasn't for people like me who fought to save the hospital, he wouldn't have a job."
Such high salaries were labelled 'unsustainable' by the Taxpayers' Alliance, a watchdog set up to scrutinise public spending.
The Department of Health said the government was 'committed to cutting management costs in the NHS' and planned to reduce them by 46 per cent by 2013/14.
By comparison, Hillingdon Council pays its chief executive, Hugh Dunnachie, in the region of £180,000 a year.
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