Health trust's management cost shock

A HEALTH trust's management costs have increased by more than £1million in a year, the East Anglian Daily Times can reveal.

By Annie Davidson

A HEALTH trust's management costs have increased by more than £1million in a year, the East Anglian Daily Times can reveal.

Essex Rivers Healthcare NHS Trust spent £7.376million on management costs in 2006-7 compared to £6.263m in 2005-6.

Last night, the trust put the “small” increase partly down to a “reclassification of revenue” and said the money was only a tiny part of the overall budget.

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But Douglas Carswell, Conservative MP for Harwich, condemned the figures as “absolutely outrageous.”

He said: “I am really quite shocked by these figures. I think when people hear this they will feel very angry and I think people will be totally justified in feeling very angry.

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“Only today I met an old age pensioner who has been waiting weeks for a hearing aid and there are people campaigning in Clacton to save Peter Bruff ward which treats vulnerable people with mental health problems in Clacton Hospital.

“Yet now we hear management costs have been significantly increased. This is not what our tax pounds should be being spent on.”

He added: “Think what £1million could do - just a fraction of that sum of money could make sure everybody waiting for a hearing aid could have one.

“Just a fraction of that money could dramatically cut any waiting list and just a fraction of that money could guarantee the future and long-term security of Peter Bruff ward in Clacton.

Mr Carswell called for better accountability within the health service and added: “People should be held accountable for this extra million but it takes the EADT highlighting it before people are even aware of it. It is really shocking.”

A spokesman for Essex Rivers Healthcare Trust said: “There has been a small increase in our management costs most of which are due to a reclassification of revenue.

“More than 50% of the management cost increases were previously classified in other costs areas.

“There has been extra money spent on recruiting clinical support to advise managers on the running of the hospital.

“Funds have also been spent on improving IT services in management and the usual annual pay rises.

“The costs increases are only a tiny amount of our overall budget.”

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