Page last updated at 17:49 GMT, Monday, 22 March 2010

Sussex NHS trust attacked over chief's 175,000 pay-out

Kim Hodgson
Kim Hodgson joined the East Sussex Hospitals Trust in 2005

A Sussex NHS trust has been criticised for paying its outgoing chief executive £175,000 to step down without working her 12-month notice period.

East Sussex Hospitals Trust announced that Kim Hodgson would leave her post with immediate effect.

The trust said it was obliged to pay her to the end of her contract whether she worked the full term or not.

Hastings MP Michael Foster said the pay-out was wrong. He has asked Health Minister Michael O'Brien to intervene.

He said: "It is incredible and I don't think it's right. I don't think her contract can possibly say that and if it does then someone needs to be held to account for the contract.

"If it doesn't then someone needs to be held to account for why they believe it does."

There is nothing to hide here and the payments will be audited and shown in our annual report and accounts
East Sussex Hospitals Trust statement

Mr Foster added: "I've asked the minister to intervene, I've also been to the Audit Commission and I've told the trust governors that I hold them personally responsible."

Ms Hodgson joined the trust, which manages Eastbourne District General and Conquest Hospital, Hastings, in 2005 from East Kent Hospitals NHS Trust.

In a statement, the trust said: "Kim has loved working at the trust, but after nearly five years as chief executive, she has decided that it is time to hand over the trust to others to take forward.

"It makes sense for the trust and for Kim to put the new arrangements into effect as quickly as we can. Kim is not therefore working out her notice."

It continued: "On that basis, the trust is paying Kim her contractual entitlements and no more. Kim will get just under £175,000 and she will pay tax and the usual deductions on that.

"There is no additional pay-off. There is nothing to hide here and the payments will be audited and shown in our annual report and accounts.

"Kim's notice period of 12 months reflects the circumstances in play at the time of her joining the trust. It was agreed by the then chairman to reflect the challenges facing the trust and Kim's move from a successful position within another trust."



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