12. June 2012 15:40
The NHS paid more than £33m to cover ‘losses and special payments’ by its hospitals last year, a new investigation has found.
Information obtained by The Sun under the Freedom of Information Act found that more than £500,000 was lost after a foreign patient vanished after being treated at Barts and the London Trust and almost £1,500 was wasted in unwanted letterheads when a PCT changed its chief executive.
Robert Oxley from the TaxPayer’s Alliance said the findings highlight some “truly astounding examples of waste” and called upon the NHS “to be more careful with taxpayers’ money.”
The investigation found that the NHS lost almost £100,000 a day through waste, incompetence, losses and special payments. Analysis of the accounts of 139 hospitals and NHS Trusts found the wasted money under a section called ‘Losses and Special Payments’.
It found stolen medical equipment at North West London NHS Trust cost £221,554, spillages and incorrect refrigeration of blood by Cambridge University Hospitals cost £107,000 and £94,000 was spent on unwanted hearing aids binned by Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust.
Computer software which failed to work at Leeds Teaching Hospital cost £86,527 and tens of thousands of pounds worth of compensation were paid by Salford Royal NHS Trust and Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow, Essex. Rotherham NHS Trust also paid £43,500 to a cleaner who suffered breathing difficulties after inhaling a cleaning product.