‘An absolute disgrace’: Nine NHS chiefs spent £200,000 expenses on hotels, fine dining and taxis
Tuesday 13 May 2014
Nine officials on the board of NHS England spent nearly £200,000 on hotels, meals and travel in a year, according to figures obtained using a Freedom of Information request.
Patients groups condemned the “lavish” spending variously as “ludicrous”, “an outrage” and “an absolute disgrace”.
The nine executives spent a total of £195,802 on hotels costing up to £500 a night, fine dining and transport during 2013-14, according to information obtained by The Daily Telegraph. This averages out at more than £1,800 a month each.
Tim Kelsey, the national director for patients and information, spent £46,000, including more than £21,000 on meals and hotels and nearly £7,000 on flights.
Sir David Nicholson, who recently stood down as chief executive of NHS England, spent £32,000, including £6,700 on taxis. A journey from London to Preston cost more than £500. The chief nursing officer, Jane Cummings, spent more than £27,000, including £8,000 on hotels and meals.
Katherine Murphy, chief executive of the Patients’ Association, said: “It is an absolute disgrace when patients are waiting longer for care, when frontline staff are so overloaded, and when there are such difficulties in some parts of the service, to see this scale of excess at the top of the organisation. It truly beggars belief.”
Roger Goss, of Patient Concern, said: “It’s ludicrous for the organisers of the NHS to live a lavish lifestyle while trying to persuade the rest of the health service to save billions on providing care to patients. It really is an outrage that these sorts of sums have been diverted from the taxpayer, when they were intended for patient care.”
Simon Stevens, NHS England’s new chief executive, told the Telegraph that he had banned first-class travel, effective immediately, and told staff to use public transport, not taxis, wherever possible. He took a voluntary £20,000 pay cut when he took the post last month.
“NHS England has set new standards for openness and transparency in all of its operations, compared with what went before,” he said. “And I’ve set myself and our organisation the goal in everything we do of ‘thinking like a patient, and acting like a taxpayer’.”
Life & Style blogs
Who is Teresa Fidalgo? Debunking the fake ghost story that's got Instagram spooked
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
Hershey's angers US chocolate purists by forcing company to stop importing 'yummy' Cadbury bars
SAG Awards 2015: Best and worst gowns on the red carpet
Nike Back to the Future style self-lacing shoes 'will arrive in 2015'
- 1 The BBC has just done more to eradicate ‘terrorism’ than all our wars since 9/11
- 2 Dog thinks owner is drowning in lake, dives in and tries to pull him out
- 3 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 4 Chilling drone footage captures Auschwitz ahead of 70th anniversary of liberation
- 5 Phil Neville backtracks on Tomas Rosicky 'I'd smash him' comments from Match of the Day 2
Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: Tradewind are working with this Co-educatio...
Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: We require a teacher of Textiles for this c...
Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: We require a teacher of English for this co...
£16000 - £19500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leading provider of Atlas ...