Top scientific advisers rake in £400k

Top scientific advisers rake in £400k: Chris Whitty and Patrick Vallance are earning a fortune during Covid-19 pandemic and have appeared on the list of best-paid civil servants for the first time

  • Professor Chris Whitty is paid between £205,000 and £210,000, it was revealed 
  • Meanwhile the chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance is on up to £185,000
  • Thirty officials at soon-to-be scrapped Public Health England earn more than £150,000

The two scientific experts leading the response to the coronavirus pandemic earn almost £400,000 between them.

Chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty is paid between £205,000 and £210,000 while chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance is on up to £185,000. 

Thirty officials at soon-to-be scrapped Public Health England earn more than £150,000.

The agency’s former chief executive Duncan Selbie still gets up to £195,000 as a senior adviser to the Department of Health. He received a £5,000 pay rise before losing his job. 

Chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty, who is paid between £205,000 and £210,000, and chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance, who is on up to £185,000, appear on the list

Meanwhile, seven staff at NHS Test and Trace, which has been blasted for its ‘shambolic’ performance, earn more than the Prime Minister.

Professor Whitty and Sir Patrick appear on the list of best-paid civil servants for the first time.

The list revealed that four PHE staff are on salaries of more than £200,000.   

In Prof Whitty this is because he is newly-appointed to the role. His predecessor Dame Sally Davies actually earned £5,000 more than him the previous year.

It is unclear why Sir Patrick was not on the list the previous year as he has been chief scientific adviser since 2018.

Some 30 officials from Public Health England are revealed to earn more than the PM.

In August, Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced the quango was to be scrapped over perceived failings in the way it dealt with coronavirus testing.

Nevertheless, the Cabinet Office list reveals four PHE staff are on more than £200,000.

The highest-paid is Maria Zambon, director of reference microbiology, who is on up to £230,000.

Mr Selbie is still on the payroll despite having given up his job at PHE.

He is now listed as ‘senior advisor to the Department of Health and Social Care’, where he earns up to £195,000. This is a £5,000 increase on the figure the year before.

It is unclear why Sir Patrick was not on the list the previous year as he has been chief scientific adviser since 2018

Matt Hancock (pictured at a Downing Street press conference) announced the quango was to be scrapped over perceived failings in the way it dealt with coronavirus testing

A spokesman for Public Health England said: ‘Our senior colleagues across PHE are largely doctors, scientists and world leading researchers, and are among the most highly qualified public health professionals in the country.

‘They are on the frontline of protecting and improving the nation’s health from infectious diseases, antibiotic resistance and other threats, as well as being at the very forefront of the UK’s Covid-19 pandemic response.

‘In line with other clinical professionals, their package comprises of a number of elements, including salary, pensions and NHS National Clinical Excellence Awards.

‘PHE’s running costs are about one third that of an average teaching hospital and we have saved more than £500million in costs over the last five years.’ 

The newly-founded NHS Test and Trace has seven members of staff on more than the PM, although its chairman Baroness Harding is unpaid. 

Chief operating officer David Pitt earned up to £245,000. Chief information officer Simon Bolton takes home up to £205,000. The same salary is earned by Gareth Williams, whose title is ‘chief people officer’.

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