LETTER: Why is no one to blame for NHS £16 million waste?

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Your article “Health groups wasted £16m public money” (PT July 14, page 27), exposes one of the most disgraceful episodes in local NHS history.

The bungling of this project as reported by the National Audit Office reveals a catalogue of “it’s not me gov” and “everything is now OK” responses. The fact is patient care in this area is £16 million poorer due to the lack of planning and oversight, yet not a single person is to be held accountable – the public and patients deserve better. What confidence can patients have that such wastage will not be repeated? The fact is those who deliverer the service/are the expert practitioners, in this case doctors, are not necessarily the best managers. The move to bring the decision making process closer to the patient by dismantling local PCTs (incidentally one of the most successful was in Peterborough) has left the process less accountable to patients and further away from them, in Cambridge. The responsibility for billions of pounds being wasted stops with the politicians who gave the NHS budget to those who know how to spend it but are not qualified to manage it. It compounded the problem by setting up a plethora of Trusts with an expectation that their work would be overseen by National regulators, who aren’t managers either – they are regulators.

This reorganisation has cost billions and has contributed to the sort of bungling that has resulted in the recent local loss of £16 million and a lack of transparency with regard to accountability.

Stewart Francis

Former chair Norfolk, Suffolk & Cambs Strategic Health Authority