Another day, another example of wasteful spending in the NHS – this time with the NHS England board the guilty party. During the first year of the organisation’s existence, top-level officials managed to run up an expenses bill of almost £200,000 on travel, hotels and restaurants. All of that, of course, is charged to the taxpayer.
The biggest spender is Sir Tim Kelsey, National Director for Patients and Information, who claimed for an £46,000 on top of his £185,000 salary, including almost £7,000 on flying to conferences in the US.
Other members of the executive board were equally busy. Jane.Cummings, Chief Nursing Officer, has total expenses of £27,000, while Bill McCarthy’s £23,000 tab includes £491 for one night in a hotel following a £313 train journey. Together the three make up over a quarter of the total bill with the remaining balance shared between the 12 remaining executive and non-executive directors.
Andy Silvester, our Campaign Manager, gave the following comment:
These NHS expenses will be enough to give taxpayers a heart attack. The public expect their cash to be spent on doctors and nurses, not on train tickets and flights to Los Angeles. At a time when the health service is having to make much-needed savings, hard-pressed taxpayers will be wondering how bosses have managed to run up such a massive bill. We need a war on waste right across the NHS to make sure that the public are getting value for money from their health service.
With the NHS England board making such eyebrow-raising claims, eliminating waste in the rest of the system really doesn't appear to be a priority.