HEALTH chiefs in North Yorkshire have been slammed for spending £320,000 on a report which has been labelled “thin on detail” and a “disappointment”.

The long-awaited clinical services review, published today at a board meeting of NHS North Yorkshire and York PCT, was expected to reveal where hard-hitting savings would be made, but included no specific recommendations.

It was described as “a lot of expensive words” by one councillors. Audit and consultation company KPMG was paid £320,000 to oversee the publication of the report,

While the trust’s chief executive Chris Long revealed that he expected the region’s £19 million budget deficit to shrink to £12 million by April, he was asked by chairman Kevin McAleese how the health economy could be put back into the black when the report gave “no information”.

Mr McAleese also said he felt embarrassed he had agreed to delay the publication of the report by a week.

He said: “It does not have the specifics in it to justify a delay in publication. I personally feel embarrassed in terms of governance.

“There were fears it would ‘set hares running’ if published too early and it turned out not to be the case.”

The trust’s non-executive director, Roy Templeman, described the report as “anodyne” and said it had been “suppressed” despite containing nothing controversial.

Mr McAleese said: “What I’m feeling from board members is a sense of disappointment about the lack of specifics.”

The 19-page document was put together after workshops involving the six clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) which will take over the region’s health spending in April when NHS North Yorkshire and York ceases to exist.

Other NHS organisations such as the ambulance service and hospitals, including York, also helped produce the report, under the guidance of KPMG.
Representatives from various councils, voluntary organisations and patient groups turned up at the Priory Street centre expecting to learn exactly where savings would be made.

Mr Long, who was also involved in the production of the report said, it was now up to the individual CCGs to come up with solutions on their local patches.

He said: “The agendas are going to be very different in each locality.
“When this trust disintegrates there will be no North Yorkshire in health terms, there will be the six CCGs and it’s up to them to decide what the strategy will be in their own areas.”

Responding to questions over the why the report was not published before today’s meeting, he said: “I think it’s fair to say we thought it wouldn’t be helpful. We felt it would fuel a week of fevered speculation.”

He said he was satisfied the report was good value for money and said KPMG “worked hard.”