Hospital costs fears

12/09/13 New GV's of Bedford Hospital
Bedford Hospital PNL-170102-114239001
12/09/13 New GV's of Bedford Hospital Bedford Hospital PNL-170102-114239001
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Fat cat health bosses are being paid ‘eye watering’ salaries in order to CUT services to patients in Bedfordshire, experts have claimed.

The British Medical Association this week lashed out at the multi million pound cost of the local Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP) review to link Bedford, Milton Keynes and Luton health services.

They claimed the BLMK team had created 19 jobs at a total cost of £974,000 a year.

These posts include SEVEN ‘programme directors’ and ‘joint programme directors’.

BLMK’s combined salary bill would pay for up to 50 fully qualified nurses.

Dr Mark Porter, who chairs the BMA Council, said: “It makes no sense to spend this kind of money of staffing and structure when we already know there is a huge shortfall in capital funding needed to actually put the plans in place.”

Locally, tens of thousands of patients stand to be affected by the STP which is meant to ensure health and social care services in England are built around the needs of local populations.

There are fears that Bedford hospital will lose services and patients will have to travel to Milton Keynes.

Meanwhile it is understood the BLMK STP team needs up to £6m more funding to continue with its review this year.

This is on top of the initial start-up cost of £1.2m last year.

It is one of 44 STP reviews nationally, and the wage bill alone for these is estimated to be a staggering £10m, says the BMA.

Dr Porter said: “Millions of patients nationally will be affected by hospital and bed closures under these so-called ‘transformation plans’, which are a cover for delivering £26b in cuts to health and social care.”

The BLMK press team was still “checking the figures” as we went to press and were unable to provide a reply.