Bradford NHS chief executives have been accused of raking in "fat cat wage increases" by a trade union chief.

The criticism came as a new report showed chief executives of NHS Trusts nationally were paid annual wage rises of 5.2% last year - twice as much as health workers.

Basic salaries for chief executives varied from £41,000, mainly in ambulance trusts, to £111,000 in general acute hospitals, according to a survey.

In the Bradford area Trevor Molton, chief executive of the Birkenshaw-based West York-shire Metropolitan Ambulance Service NHS Trust, won the biggest rise, seeing his basic salary rise by £6,000 to £68,000, an increase of 9.7 per cent. His total package rose to £70,000.

Former chief executive of Bradford Community Health NHS Trust, Sandy Taylor, was paid £70,000 in his basic salary, a rise of 7.7 per cent. His total package rose to £80,000, a rise of 9.6 per cent.

The basic salary of David Jackson, chief executive of Bradford Hospitals NHS Trust, rose by £2,000 to £83,000 in 1996-97. His total remuneration package went up by 4.3 per cent to £98,000.

John Scanlon, Unison spokesman at Bradford Hospitals NHS Trust, said staff would be appalled by the scale of the increases when they again faced minimal increases in the coming year.

"Staff morale is very, very low already and when they hear this it will go through the floor," he said. "It's the same old story the poorest paid get the worst deal.

"When you're offered two or three per cent of nothing it still remains nothing. I would think everyone here would like 4.3 per cent of David Jackson's wage."

A WYMAS spokesman said the £30 million organisation was the busiest ambulance service outside London and Mr Molton's salary reflected his skills and responsibilities.

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