THE FORMER CEO of Royal Bournemouth Hospital received a redundancy package of more than £250,000, the Daily Echo can reveal.

Tony Spotswood, who said in a statement that 'after very careful reflection' he had reached the decision not to apply for the interim joint Chief Executive role, left his job last December as the two hospitals decided to appoint a joint interim CEO.

His payoff is recorded on page 38 of the hospital's annual accounts under 'Staff Exit Packages' and shows a payment of £275,000 - more than all the other payments made in that year put together.

"The above exit packages were in relation to one compulsory redundancy and 10 agreed departures," said the accounts. "The compulsory redundancy relates to the chief executive, following the agreement of a joint interim management structure with Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. Under this arrangement the two trusts now have a single interim joint chair and chief executive, with effect from 1 January 2019.

"The value included above represents the full contractual exit package, however a contribution of 50 per cent was received from Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust."

A spokesman for RBCH said: "The Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust are preparing to merge and as a consequence, it was agreed last autumn that we should have one joint chief executive and one joint chairperson. This proposal had to be approved by the Competition and Markets Authority and was supported by NHS Improvement, our regulator.

"In line with the policies of both trusts relating to organisational change, the chief executives of both trusts were therefore placed 'at risk' in order to make the interim joint appointment. This involved a formal consultation and appointment process.

"Tony Spotswood’s redundancy was paid in line with national guidance, after having served over 18 years as chief cxecutive of RBCH. He was also entitled to six months’ notice under the terms of his contract. Having one joint chief executive and chair across both trusts will result in a significant annual financial saving to both as the employment costs of both posts are shared on a 50 per cent basis."

The spokesman said the job was not eligible under the MARS (Mutually Agreed Resignation Scheme) which would limit any payment because Mr Spotswood's job was put at risk as previously outlined.