Hospital chief on "extended leave"

Caspar Ridley

Caspar Ridley

First published in News by

THE chief executive of Salisbury District Hospital has gone on “extended leave” only six months after starting the job.

Hospital bosses are remaining tight lipped about the reasons for Caspar Ridley’s absence but have confirmed the chief executive, who earns between £150,000 and £155,000 a year, is currently not at work.

A member of hospital staff told the Journal: “We heard he was supposed to return from holiday two weeks ago but didn’t come back.

“No one knows what’s going on.”

On Friday, hospital staff were told Mr Ridley was on leave and that chief operating officer Peter Hill was taking over in the interim.

Mr Ridley, 44, started the job in March. He replaced Matthew Kershaw, who joined the hospital in 2008 but was seconded to the Department of Health in Whitehall two years later.

Before coming to Salisbury, Mr Ridley was director of strategy and business development at University Hospital Southampton.

The father-of-three is also a former deputy vice president for Shell International and global head of public and government affairs for agribusiness Syngenta.

This year Mr Ridley and the Trust board have led the hospital into a controversial pay consortium, which staff fear could see their salaries cut by up to 12 per cent.

Salisbury District Hospital has joined with 19 others in the south west to explore ways to cut the wages bill to around 60 per cent of its annual budget, which could involve reducing overtime payments, sick pay and holiday entitlement for long-serving staff.

Unison representative Mark Wareham, who is leading the campaign against the pay cartel, said: “We don’t know if Mr Ridley’s absence has anything to do with the cartel – it would be great if this means that Salisbury now leaves it, but until that happens the fight goes on.

“It’s the whole board that is behind it – not just him - and all of them need to see sense.”

A petition with around 1,500 signatures opposing the pay cartel will be handed to hospital bosses later this month.

Comments (5)

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3:30pm Mon 3 Sep 12

Mystery Mike says...

Surely if the hospital's focus is on money spent on wages, it would be a good idea to know where their £150,000 a year chief executive has gone! This will turn into a thoroughly embarrassing incident for Salisbury Hospital. If, however, they do know where he's gone, keeping that kind of information from the tax paying public and employees any longer will cause uproar.
Surely if the hospital's focus is on money spent on wages, it would be a good idea to know where their £150,000 a year chief executive has gone! This will turn into a thoroughly embarrassing incident for Salisbury Hospital. If, however, they do know where he's gone, keeping that kind of information from the tax paying public and employees any longer will cause uproar. Mystery Mike
  • Score: 0

5:03pm Mon 3 Sep 12

karlmarx says...

Very good point Mystery Mike, the plot thickens.
IF the whole pay cartel issue is about the money spent on wages then surely there are a number of issues that need to be raised.
1. How does a 4% rise in the salary of the top ten earners fit in with the 'money spent on wages' being a problem?
2. why spend so much money on agency staff while planning to cut the wages of your own staff?
3. If it is 'cheaper' in the long term to use agency staff then why not give the trusts own employees the opportunity to earn twice as much under the same terms as agency staff?

I think the Journal have opened a can of worms here and, the bad publicity this fiasco is causing is tarnishing the good reputation that Salisbury hospital has built up over decades. It will take years to recover.
Very good point Mystery Mike, the plot thickens. IF the whole pay cartel issue is about the money spent on wages then surely there are a number of issues that need to be raised. 1. How does a 4% rise in the salary of the top ten earners fit in with the 'money spent on wages' being a problem? 2. why spend so much money on agency staff while planning to cut the wages of your own staff? 3. If it is 'cheaper' in the long term to use agency staff then why not give the trusts own employees the opportunity to earn twice as much under the same terms as agency staff? I think the Journal have opened a can of worms here and, the bad publicity this fiasco is causing is tarnishing the good reputation that Salisbury hospital has built up over decades. It will take years to recover. karlmarx
  • Score: 0

8:54pm Mon 3 Sep 12

rantone says...

Peter Hill , the Chief Operating Officer has served the |Trust very well over the past year(plus). Now he is expected to 'take over' again- I wonder if he applied for the CEx role last time? It proves he can do the role if asked again, so if Casper Ridley is ill then the board and staff should be told and all explained. If problems with the job and unable to exercise his time then move away. His life is of value , but so are the lives of all the NHS employees locally and they have procedures to follow with thier line managers - so the Trust have to move quick on this. If Mr Ridley had been at Salisbury for a few years the situation and his performance would have been easier to assess. Some honesty and clarity is required.
Peter Hill , the Chief Operating Officer has served the |Trust very well over the past year(plus). Now he is expected to 'take over' again- I wonder if he applied for the CEx role last time? It proves he can do the role if asked again, so if Casper Ridley is ill then the board and staff should be told and all explained. If problems with the job and unable to exercise his time then move away. His life is of value , but so are the lives of all the NHS employees locally and they have procedures to follow with thier line managers - so the Trust have to move quick on this. If Mr Ridley had been at Salisbury for a few years the situation and his performance would have been easier to assess. Some honesty and clarity is required. rantone
  • Score: 0

6:25pm Wed 5 Sep 12

aldonreaper says...

I heard someone at the top was fired but not who
I heard someone at the top was fired but not who aldonreaper
  • Score: 0

1:56pm Sun 9 Sep 12

Kings X says...

"according to something i was told some time ago,all the support staff at SDH have and are paid a grade lower pay then they were supposed to and that this was put in place by PETER HILL!!!!!"
"according to something i was told some time ago,all the support staff at SDH have and are paid a grade lower pay then they were supposed to and that this was put in place by PETER HILL!!!!!" Kings X
  • Score: 0

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