HEALTH bosses were yesterday accused of wasting more than £850,000 a year on “non-jobs” like equality and diversity officers.

New figures obtained by the TaxPayers Alliance show £874,548 was spent last year for salaries and pensions for 21 roles at four authorities which provide county NHS care.

They include £35,536 for an equality and diversity manager at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs the John Radcliffe Hospital.

Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust paid the same for a “learning environment lead” and £26,586 for a “leadership development manager”.

Most roles, 13, were in communications departments, whose responsibilities include answering queries from the media.

TaxPayers’ Alliance has labelled these as “non jobs” and chief executive Jonathan Isaby said: “Taxpayers expect the health budget to be spent on real doctors, not spin doctors.

“The NHS employs far too many people in jobs that do nothing to deliver frontline patient care.

“It’s time for health chiefs to launch a war on waste and ensure the NHS budget is spent on patients rather than squandered on bureaucrats.”

Trust spokesman Alison Barnes said: “Alongside frontline staff we also need to employ people in a variety of support roles to ensure the smooth day-to-day operation and delivery of services.”

She said the equality and diversity officer is to “make sure that our patient care is responsive to the needs of all patients” and for the trust to meet legal duties.

The energy manager ensures energy usage “is as efficient as possible” and the media team handles its website, more than 1,000 annual media queries, social media, communication and events.

Oxford Health spokesman Lorcan O’Neill said: “Every post at Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust is designed to contribute cost-effectively directly or indirectly towards patient care.”

Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group spokesman Chris Birdsall said its equality and access manager worked to “help vulnerable people who might otherwise find it difficult to access NHS services to do so promptly and effectively”.

South Central Ambulance Service Matt George said its equality and diversity manager is to “ensure that fairness is built in to all services” and must be ready to communicate with the public over a “large scale” incident.

Oxford East Labour MP Andrew Smith said: “Bureaucracy must be kept to a minimum; but the clinical effort does need to be supported by non-clinical staff, and I think it’s wrong simply to brand these staff as ‘bureaucrats’ who can be dispensed with.”

Where some of the money is spent.

Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust.

  • Associate director communications and marketing: £68,854.
  • Senior communications manager, head of stakeholder engagement: £49,492.
  • Communications manager: £40,511.
  • Communications manager (academic health science network): £40,511.
  • Communications manager (research): £40,511.
  • Energy manager: £40,511.
  • Equality and diversity manager: £40,511.
  • Press and communications officer: £33,925.
  • Senior communications officer: £33,925.
  • Communications officer: £27,716.
  • Web communications officer: £27,716.

Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust.

  • Marketing and communications manager: £41,309.
  • Learning environment lead: £40,511.
  • Communications manager: £40,178.
  • Equality and diversity officer: £30,884.
  • Communications and involvement assistant: £30,308.
  • Leadership development manager: £30,308.
  • Marketing and media officer: £30,308.

Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group.

  • Equality and access manager: £40,511.

South Central Ambulance service.

  • Head of communications and public relations: £99,850.
  • Equality and diversity manager: £45,198 .

Source: TaxPayers’ Alliance