Derbyshire MP wants limit on public payouts

Amber Valley MP Nigel Mills.
Amber Valley MP Nigel Mills.

A Derbyshire MP wants to put a stop to public officials being paid thousands of pounds indefinitely while they are awaiting disciplinary proceedings.

Nigel Mills, MP for Amber Valley, says he would favour a three-month limit for how long public officials can be paid while they are suspended.

It has recently been revealed that Derbyshire health chief Steve Trenchard was paid £40,000 after being suspended regarding claims he protected a colleague from allegations of sexual harassment.

Mr Mills said: “Clearly when you have got people on pretty high salaries being paid for doing nothing there is a problem.

“Also having a large and important organisation like the Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust without a permanent leader is not something that should be allowed to continue indefinitely.”

“I do not think that an investigation process should take longer than three months.

“If we can’t come to a decision in that period of time then there is a problem with the process.

“If he is innocent then that decision should be able to be made relatively quickly to save the public money and allow the organisation to move on.”

A spokesman for Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust said: “All employees who are suspended from work remain on full pay whilst appropriate investigations are undertaken.

“We believe it is important that the investigations are thorough, and have the necessary time to consider all relevant information. The investigations are underway, are progressing to the plan agreed with Monitor and will be completed as soon as possible.”