A counselor who sometimes worked from his Spanish home while costing a struggling board of health nearly £ 2,000 a day had his contract terminated.
Philip Burns was nicknamed “Marbella Man” because he worked from his home on the Costa del Sol while advising a Welsh health counselor who is subject to special measures.
It appeared that Betsi Cadwaladr’s health council had planned to pay him £ 360,990 for a nine-month contract.
The board of directors says his contract ended early due to the coronavirus pandemic.
He has now left his interim director of recovery contract two months earlier.
Betsi Cadwaladr has been the subject of special measures – the highest form of intervention by the Welsh government – since a damning report in June 2015.
Burns was appointed by former director general of the North Wales Board of Health, Gary Doherty, to revive Betsi’s fortune.
The board then confirmed that he was employing Mr Burns, through the healthcare consultancy firm Hunter Healthcare, for a nine month contract worth £ 360,990, or 1 £ 990 per day.
Betsi then described the sum as “the market rate for this level of expertise.”
The recovery program for which Mr. Burns was responsible was expected to generate savings and efficiencies for the organization.
But the projected board deficit at the end of the 2019-20 fiscal year is expected to be around £ 57.72 million – up from £ 42 million in 2019, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.
The board also expects additional pressures of around £ 10 million from the coronavirus pandemic as it appears to be saving £ 45 million this fiscal year.
It appeared in an access to information request that the Welsh government had to finance £ 350,000 for payments to Mr. Burns.
His position was one of 38 management consultant roles discovered by Plaid Cymru AM Llyr Gruffydd.
“At the same time as they paid Mr. Burns, they tried to make changes to the thousands of nurse rotations that would have forced NHS staff to work an extra shift per month for nothing,” said M Gruffydd.
“The savings from this plan, which were suspended but not abandoned by the board after opposition from the unions and Plaid Cymru, would have been less than what Mr. Burns had been paid for his nine-year term month as “recovery director”.
“It now appears that his contract was terminated in two months. The good news is that the board of directors saved £ 70,000, but they paid almost £ 300,000 in eight months to do what exactly. “
“I understand that the Welsh board and government need to focus on Covid-19 in the short term, but at some point we need to have answers about the £ 5 million spent in recent years on these consultants. management in North Wales. »»
Burns’ contract was set to expire in June, but a spokesperson for the board of health confirmed that it had been completed early and that his contract had not been fully reimbursed.
“The board of health has made the decision to suspend the recovery program for a period of time in order to focus on the response from Covid-19,” said the spokesperson.
In total, Mr Burns was expected to earn more than £ 360,000 for his nine month stay while he managed 20% from his home in Marbella.