RE­VEALED: Mar­bella home where ex­pert is earn­ing £2k a day to cut NHS costs

Con­tro­ver­sial con­tract al­lows him to work there one day a week

Scottish Daily Mail - - Forever Autumn ... - By Richard Mars­den and Ger­ard Couzens

‘Great place to get over the night be­fore’ ‘He should sign his own P45’

THE lux­ury sun­shine life­style of a con­sul­tant be­ing paid al­most £2,000 a day to cut costs in the NHS can be re­vealed to­day.

There has been ou­trage at the pay of Phillip Burns, 45, af­ter he was hired as a ‘recovery di­rec­tor’ for a health board that has a bud­get deficit of £40mil­lion.

Yes­ter­day crit­ics at­tacked the cash-strapped board in North Wales for pay­ing so much for some­one to look for ways of sav­ing money.

‘These man­age­ment con­sul­tants flit from hos­pi­tal to hos­pi­tal in­flict­ing cuts while the front­line staff have to pick up the pieces,’ said one.

The Betsi Cad­wal­adr Uni­ver­sity Health Board has been deemed ‘fail­ing’ for the last four years and is un­der the direct con­trol of the Labour-run Welsh gov­ern­ment.

It is cur­rently un­der fire over ‘dra­co­nian’ changes to nurses’ hours, lead­ing to claims they will end up working an ex­tra shift a month for free. This was pro­posed be­fore Mr Burns joined. It is not yet known what ideas he has put for­ward to help the trust bal­ance its bud­get.

Un­der his con­tract, man­age­ment con­sul­tant Mr Burns can spend a day a week working from Mar­bella, on the Costa del Sol, where he has a du­plex pent­house in an up­mar­ket gated com­mu­nity.

Ir­ish-born Mr Burns also has a £1mil­lion pent­house flat in En­field, North Lon­don, which neighbours say he left af­ter a fall­ing-out over plans to build a roof ter­race. It is cur­rently let to a Pre­mier League foot­baller, Kiko Fe­me­nia, a de­fender for Wat­ford.

Mr Burns’s so­cial me­dia pages are filled with im­ages of him en­joy­ing the good life with his wife, Lynsey Cade Davies, 39, a di­vorce bar­ris­ter.

There are pic­tures of the cou­ple at the Bri­tish Grand Prix at Sil­ver­stone in 2017 and watch­ing Ar­se­nal in the FA Com­mu­nity Shield at Wem­b­ley the same year.

Im­ages from Spain show them in a top restau­rant and en­joy­ing drinks in the gar­den of a five-star ho­tel. For his work, Mr Burns is set to pocket more than £350,000 over nine months. This works out at £1,990 a day – enough to pay for al­most 14 nurses or nine doc­tors over that pe­riod.

In­ves­ti­ga­tions by the Daily Mail have found he now lives at a £700,000 home in one of the most sought-af­ter ar­eas in Mar­bella.

It is a five-minute drive from Mar­bella’s Golden Mile. As well as 24-hour se­cu­rity, the complex has one in­door and four out­door swim­ming pools, a fit­ness cen­tre, squash court and saunas. It de­scribes it­self on­line as one of the ‘most pres­ti­gious and lux­u­ri­ous com­mu­ni­ties on the Costa del Sol’ and boasts of be­ing ‘ul­tra-se­cure’.

Although they only bought the prop­erty last year, so­cial me­dia pho­tos show they were al­ready fa­mil­iar with Mar­bella from hol­i­days. One, taken in July 2017, shows the cou­ple sip­ping on match­ing green or­ganic juices at a ve­gan-friendly restau­rant by a pool in the gar­dens of an ex­clu­sive five-star Mar­bella ho­tel. The same day, they dined at a ta­ble over­look­ing the Mediter­ranean at El

Oceano Beach Ho­tel’s restau­rant in Mi­jas Costa, a 20-minute drive east of Mar­bella. Its web­site boasts that it is ‘the finest restau­rant on the Costa del Sol’.

The cou­ple showed off their glam­orous life­style on New Year’s Day this year, post­ing a pic­ture of them en­joy­ing a late break­fast at Mar­bella’s seafront peo­ple­watch­ing cafe Cap­puc­cino.

Mr Burns’ wife tweeted: ‘Great place to start 2019 ... and get over the night be­fore. Happy New Year.’ Just over a month later she re­vealed ren­o­va­tion work was due at their new sun­shine pad when she used so­cial me­dia to sell two sun-loungers for £1,000.

Welsh Assem­bly mem­ber Llyr Gruffydd, who first raised con­cerns about Mr Burns’ ap­point­ment, said: ‘While he’s en­joy­ing a life of lux­ury in the sun, my con­stituents are strug­gling to see a GP, wait­ing months and years to get treat­ment and nurses and other health­care work­ers are be­ing stretched to the limit.

‘These man­age­ment con­sul­tants flit from hos­pi­tal to hos­pi­tal in­flict­ing cuts while the front­line staff have to pick up the pieces.’

Mr Gruffydd, of Plaid Cymru, added: ‘Peo­ple across North Wales are fu­ri­ous that their health board is pay­ing £2,000 a day for this man­age­ment con­sul­tant at the same time as it’s ham­mer­ing our nurses.

‘Betsi Cad­wal­adr board is … un­der direct con­trol of the Labour gov­ern­ment in Cardiff and I want to know what the health min­is­ter is do­ing about the nurse ro­tas and the em­ploy­ment of man­age­ment con­sul­tants like Phillip Burns.’

One pro­posed sav­ing at the health board is for nurses to have un­paid breaks dur­ing 12-and-ahalf-hour shifts.

Mr Burns’ huge wage was only re­vealed af­ter a Free­dom of In­for­ma­tion re­quest by Mr Gruffydd.

In Lon­don, a neigh­bour, who did not want to be named, said the cou­ple moved a year ago af­ter fall­ing out with other res­i­dents. The neigh­bour said Mr Burns ‘doesn’t come off as a com­pas­sion­ate per­son’.

Mr Burns pre­vi­ously worked for two years at Black­pool Teach­ing Hos­pi­tals as a ‘turn­around con­sul­tant’ and spent 11 months as ‘turn­around di­rec­tor’ at King’s Col­lege Hos­pi­tal, in Lon­don, in 2016.

John O’Con­nell, of the Tax­Pay­ers’ Al­liance, said: ‘The fastest way for Mr Burns to save money would be to sign his own P45.’

A spokesman for Betsi Cad­wal­adr board said: ‘There is a mar­ket rate for this level of ex­per­tise.’

Mr Burns did not re­spond to re­quests for com­ment.

Fine dining: Burns and wife Lynsey out in Spain No cuts here: Wealthy Burns lives in this gated Mar­bella re­sort Liv­ing the dream: Phillip Burns and wife Lynsey Cade Davies moved to up­mar­ket Mar­bella

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