Hospital boss' pay off revealed

The former boss of Norfolk's biggest hospital walked away with �140,000 when he suddenly left his job.

The former boss of Norfolk's biggest hospital walked away with �140,000 when he suddenly left his job.

Paul Forden, ex-chief executive of the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, found another job soon afterwards as chief executive of Northampton Hospital.

Mr Forden left the N&N suddenly not long after the hospital had gained foundation status. The hospital's annual report says Mr Forden's contract was 'concluded by agreement on October 13 2008', but he is believed to have stopped work on July 11. At the time he said that 'it was better if I was to move aside very quickly and it meant I could spend time with the kids over the summer, which is what I wanted'.

Mr Forden was paid �105-110,000 in salary between May and October 2008, even though he only did two and a half months' work in that time. His salary of �165,000 would normally have earned him �34,000 for two and a half months' work, so he effectively received �71-�76,000 for time that he never worked. On top of that payment, he was paid a further �65-70,000 as 'compensation for loss of office' - adding up to a 'golden handshake' of around �140,000.

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Hospital spokesman Andrew Stronach said: 'As detailed in our Report and Accounts for 2008-9 Paul Forden received a payment for compensation for loss of office following his departure from the trust. That compensation for loss of office was in the range �65-70,000.'

North Norfolk MP and Liberal Democrat health spokesman Norman Lamb said: 'The hard fact is that this is money that could have gone into patient care, and it is a substantial sum of money.

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'But the hospital does have to honour its contractual obligations. The frustration is pay levels are so high that people who leave tend to get large payouts.'

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