Anger at NHS pay-off15th January 2007
A debt-ridden trust paid out almost a quarter of a million pounds to an NHS director for just three weeks work.
The figure came to light in East Sussex Downs and Weald Primary Care Trust's annual report for 2005-2006.
The trust ended the year £4.6m in debt.
The report showed an unnamed NHS director of public health received a £243,000 pay-off, sparking anger from local MP Norman Baker who has now written to health secretary Patricia Hewitt demanding an explanation.
Mr Baker named the director as Dr Iheadi Onwukwe, who went on leave for more than two years after a dispute with a senior colleague just three weeks into his post at Eastbourne Downs PCT, which is now East Sussex Downs and Weald PCT.
He was paid off in an agreed legal settlement with compensation for ‘loss of office’.
The trust said the settlement had been approved by its board of directors and was in line with NHS guidance.
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