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Friday, 31 October 2014

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Hospital investigation reveals bosses’ spending on trips to London

HOSPITAL bosses spent hundreds of pounds on two three-mile taxi trips.

Figures revealed to the Evening Mail following a Freedom of Information request show disgraced chief executive Tony Halsall, who is still on the payroll for the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay Trust, paid £275 for a 2.8-mile trip from London Euston station to the swanky £200-a-night City Inn, in Westminster, on April 22, 2009 using a corporate credit card.

The visit was for a meeting with Monitor as the trust looked for foundation status.

Following the meeting, bosses racked up another £275 fare on a return trip in the 16-seater vehicle.

The trip would have cost the board just £42 each way had they taken the Victoria Line tube from Euston to Pimlico and walked 500m.

Among the disgraced chief’s spending of £10,055.25, which ran from January 2009 to February 2012, was a £3,249.63 stay for 15 board members in the City Inn in Westminster, now owned by hotel chain Hilton, in £200-plus rooms.

A staff trip to visit the headquarters of clinical software company Lorenzo cost the trust £804.43 in airfare alone to transport ‘key clinical staff’ to its Chennai base in India on October 31, 2010.

Following the trip to Lorenzo, Mr Halsall spent £334.74 on flowers for eight members of staff on June 14, 2010 and a further £48.98 on flowers for one member of staff on November 14, 2011.

The trust has said strict guidelines are in place and Mr Halsall, who is still receiving his £150,606 salary, had spent funds legitimately.

Tim Bennett, director of finance and information at the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The chief executive credit card is used for the legitimate business expenses of not only the chief executive, but other appropriate staff within the trust.

“Therefore, it is important to note that not all the expenses shown in the Freedom of Information request response related to the former chief executive.

“This is no different than in many other organisations, and in some cases, can offer better value.

“Examples of where this happened appear in the Freedom of Information request response, for example, the cost associated with the travel and accommodation of the whole trust board (consisting of 15 individuals), to take part in a required meeting in Central London with the trust’s regulator, Monitor, as part of its Foundation Trust application in 2009.

“Any expenses incurred on the corporate credit card account must be in line with the rules governing its use, which ensure that only legitimate business expenses can be claimed for.

“For each instance the card is used, a separate form is required with all receipts attached.

“These are independently verified by the trust’s finance department as part of the payment process.”

Have your say

this is happening IN THIS TRUST NOW !!!!! Wake up people, when these idiots are defending these shameless actions do the alarm bells not start ringing ???? Its being done now infront of your noses , before you know it we have another mid staffs , monitor come in , services are cut and these morons walk away with suitcases full of cash and into the next job. FGH is turning into a big cash cow for the highest paid. Stand up now before its taken away. They want all services in Lancaster and nothing here.
As a NHS worker I am gagged, but as a member of the public you can speak out and demand answers.

Posted by Hospital worker on 7 August 2013 at 16:42

He is just following the lead of our MPs.
May not be morally right but within the guide lines.
It will happen in all organizations.

Posted by Pedro on 7 August 2013 at 12:13

View all 6 comments on this article

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