IT’S SICK Fury at ambo trust’s £100k a month on money sav­ing’ ad­vis­ers

The People - - NEWS FEATURES & - By Stephen Hay­ward

A HARD-UP am­bu­lance trust paid con­sul­tants £574,000 – to give ad­vice on sav­ing money.

East of Eng­land Am­bu­lance Ser­vice NHS Trust was al­ready un­der fire for al­most dou­bling spend­ing on lux­ury cars for top man­agers to £ 825,238 a year while paramedics bat­tle to meet 999 re­sponse tar­gets.

Now it has emerged bosses splashed cash on sign­ing up man­age­ment con­sul­tancy SSG Health­care to iden­tify cost-sav­ing mea­sures. The con­sul­tants spent six months at the Cam­bridgeshire- based trust and clocked up daily fees rang­ing from £750 to £1,500 each.

A trust in­sider said: “It’s hard to un­der­stand how they can bring in con­sul­tants to show them how to save money at a time when they’ve in­creased costs on man­age­ment lease cars and more man­age­ment posts. Surely this would be bet­ter spent on front­line ser­vices.”

Health unions last night slammed the fees and a Uni­son spokesman said: “Years of un­der­fund­ing and staff short­ages are a headache for the en­tire NHS. But en­gag­ing ex­pen­sive man­age­ment con­sul­tants to stretch scarce re­sources even fur­ther isn’t the an­swer.” The trust, which had a £10mil­lion deficit last year, has spent £14mil­lion on pri­vate am­bu­lances, up from £6.6mil­lion the pre­vi­ous year, be­cause of ris­ing de­mand and staff short­ages. A spokesman said: “NHS Im­prove­ment in­tro­duced a fi­nan­cial im­prove­ment pro­gramme for trusts which face a sig­nif­i­cant fi­nan­cial chal­lenge. “EEAST was in­vited into this pro­gramme and ap­pointed a fi­nan­cial im­prove­ment team, SSG, to an­a­lyse ef­fec­tive­ness and ef­fi­ciency. SSG started in De­cem­ber and would be paid if the re­quired sav­ings were de­liv­ered.

“Be­cause of their ef­forts, EEAST is cur­rently re­port­ing a sur­plus of nearly £1mil­lion. The trust has paid £574,000 for the work.”

Mean­while trust bosses face grow­ing pres­sure to slash its huge bill for ex­ec­u­tives’ lease cars, as re­vealed in last week’s the Sun­day Peo­ple.

Work­ers claim the bill nearly dou­bled after the trust re­in­stated some se­nior man­age­ment posts axed un­der a pre­vi­ous cost-cut­ting drive. NICOLE Scherzinger looks pretty in pink on a big night out.

The singer wowed in a plung­ing pas­tel trouser suit at the Arts Club in May­fair, Lon­don.

She was tak­ing a break from X Factor du­ties to party with fel­low judge Sharon Os­borne and soul leg­end Lionel Richie.

The night followed re­ports of Nicole, 39, throw­ing a “booze­fu­elled af­ter­party” with X Factor hunk Matt Lin­nen, 28, after last week­end’s live shows.

But what­ever the for­mer Pussy­cat Doll is up to, it all seems to be com­ing up rosé.

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