More than £28million has been spent on the NHS in Bristol to pay for the government’s controversial reorganisation plans, a Bristol MP claimed yesterday.
A leaked report from the Department of Health suggested the full cost of the reorganisation across England was more than £3billion, with £28,110,576 spent in Bristol.
Reacting to the figures, Labour MP for Bristol East, Kerry McCarthy, described the Government’s NHS reforms as “a scandalous waste of money”.
She added that the city’s NHS had already been forced to spend £873,000 laying off staff – only for many expected to be re-employed elsewhere in the system.
“People will want to know why our local NHS has been forced to waste hundreds of thousands of pounds on payouts only for many of the same staff to be re-employed in the new NHS organisations,” she said.
“This is only the first wave of redundancies – more are expected as part of the Government’s NHS re-organisation that will cost over £28m in our area alone.
“This is a scandalous waste of money leaving Bristol’s NHS counting the cost of David Cameron’s reckless proposals. By pushing ahead with a re-organisation no-one wants, the Government is taking billions away from the NHS front-line just as it needs to focus on patient care.”
The Department of Health figures show that £168.7million was spent on laying off NHS staff in England in 2010/11.
Labour leader Ed Miliband said the figures were “very, very worrying” and showed the coalition’s NHS reforms were “the wrong reorganisation at the wrong time”.
The government’s reforms to the NHS finally cleared their last hurdle in Parliament last month, despite protests and last-ditch moves in the House of Commons.
The legislation would abolish Strategic Health Authorities and Primary Care Trusts and give much greater control over care budgets and commissioning decisions to GPs and other health professionals.
It has been the subject of a prolonged battle over the past year – with professional bodies representing doctors, nurses and other NHS workers resisting the changes.