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Director of heath board had £73,922 pay-off

A DIRECTOR at Swansea Bay University Health Board has left the organisation with a £73,922 pay-off, it has emerged.

Lynne Hamilton was appointed as finance director in May 2017 and departed at the end of February this year.

Draft health board accounts for the 2019-20 financial year have revealed the package, which comprises an ex-gratia payment, unused annual leave and payments in lieu of notice.

There were no other departures from the health board where special payments were made in 2019-20.

An ex-gratia payment is a payment made by an employer where there is no contractual obligation to do so. There can be various reasons for it.

Asked why Ms Hamilton received the ex-gratia payment, the health board responded only to say that she left her post “by mutual consent”.

It added that £38,457 of the £73,922 sum, which was agreed by the health board’s remuneration committee, related to two payments in lieu of notice.

Darren Griffiths has been appointed as interim director of finance for an initial six-month period.

Ms Hamilton gave regular updates on the health board’s finances at meetings, briefing colleagues on whether savings plans were being achieved and what the end-of-year picture could look like.

The draft accounts for 2019-20 indicate a £16.2 million deficit. The health board’s operating costs were just under £931 million.

The previous year the deficit was £9.8 million, and the year before that it was £32.4 million.

The health board, which has undertaken a huge amount of work to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, has made progress in various areas after being put in “targeted intervention” status by Welsh ministers in 2016.

This status is one below the most serious “special measures” category.

Two other Welsh health boards were placed in “targeted intervention” at the same time.

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