A hospital boss who quit her failing NHS trust complaining “life’s too short” was handed a payoff worth £240,000.

Chief executive Siobhan McArdle told her 9,000 staff she was leaving because she could not face making more cuts to key NHS services.

But figures just released show her departure left taxpayers paying for an exit deal equivalent to a year of her salary.

She also picked up £22,000 in overtime pay – almost as much as the average member of her staff earned in a year.

Her departure from South Tees NHS Foundation Trust came just weeks after a critical inspection found senior executives were out of touch with problems facing frontline workers.

Meanwhile NHS workers have to protest for a pay rise despite putting their lives at risk to help people

Urgent safety improvements were ordered in the wake of the checks on services for 1.5 million people in Teesside and North Yorkshire, including the main hospital in Chancellor Rishi Sunak ’s Richmond constituency.

Ms McArdle, 52, had been chief executive for four years.

She picked up a total of £382,000 in 2019-20 after quitting her job last September.

That included her salary for six months of £120,000 and overtime payments of £22,000.

On top of that she received £180,000 in lieu of notice and a further £60,000, equivalent to three more months’ pay.

Unite regional officer Neil Howells said: “The eye-watering payoff will cause revulsion for those NHS staff, many lowly paid, who have put their lives on the line combating Covid-19.

“It’s not as if South Tees NHS Foundation Trust were flourishing under her leadership.

“Ms McArdle should give a part of her payoff to med­ical charities to help those for whom, in her phrase, ‘life is just too short’.”

Last year The Sunday Mirror revealed Ms McArdle billed her own health trust for £149 to pay parking fines she had received – while trust staff had handed over £1.9million for parking at work.

The trust said: “Since the former chief executive stepped down, the organisation has undergone a number of significant changes.

“Our clinicians are being empowered to take decisions about how we allocate resources and deliver care.”