'Wasteful' NHS offices to be investigated

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The Independent Online
A brand-new National Health Service building is to be investigated by the National Audit Office, the public finance watchdog, amid allegations that millions of pounds of taxpayers' money have been wasted.

Robert Sheldon, Labour MP for Ashton-under-Lyne, chairman of the Commons Public Accounts Committee, has written to the NAO asking it to look into the NHS executive's decision to spend pounds 4.1m on moving its Northern and Yorkshire regional headquarters from Harrogate and Newcastle to Durham.

The NHS has spent pounds 3.4m refurbishing Harrogate and pounds 0.9m in Newcastle. Yet Harrogate was sold for just pounds 2.8m. The new Durham building is costing pounds 1,182 per square metre.