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
‘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