NHS spends £2m on iPhones and iPads….for pen-pushers

More than £2million of taxpayers’ cash has been spent buying iPhones and iPads for bureaucrats in NHS quangos.

Thousands of staff at NHS England and Public Health England set up under the Coalition’s reforms to save money, have been provided with smartphones and tablet computers. The Government insists they help staff work more flexibly, but the gadgets are all for managers – not doctors and nurses.

New details of spending on technology emerged in response to a parliamentary question by shadow public health minister Luciana Berger. The published data shows that NHS England and Public Health England, both formed last year, were the biggest spenders on iPads and iPhones.

The total bill for NHS England was £1.2million  and included 2,300 iPhones and more than 250 iPads, Public Health England also bought more than 2,000 iPhones in a total bill of £350,000. Other health bodies also ran up substantial bills, while the Department of Health itself has spent almost £40,000 on four iPhones and 95 iPads.

Labour MP Karl Turner said: ‘At a time when the NHS is in crisis, out-of-touch Tory ministers are splashing more than £2million on iPhones and iPads for pen-pushers.

‘Labour is promising  an extra £2.5billion beyond Tory plans – which will be spent on patients, not office perks.’

The Government has been repeatedly criticised for the controversial reorganisation of the NHS, which saw primary care trusts abolished and a new network of quangos and clinical bodies set up instead. The changes were designed to reduce the number of managers and put decision-making in the hands of doctors.

It was originally claimed that the controversial shake-up, which was not included in either Coalition party’s manifesto, would save £7.7billion, but the figure was later downgraded to £6billion.

A Department of Health spokesman said: ‘Employers across the world are embracing technology such as smartphones and tablets because they allow staff to be more flexible  and efficient, and in the case of the public sector provide better value for money for taxpayers.

‘Our bureaucracy-busting reforms to the NHS are saving £1.5billion a year. There are also over 13,500 more frontline staff and 7,000 fewer managers in the NHS since May 2010.’

Matt Chorley. Daily Mail 30th October 2014, p. 10.

You Could Live Till Your 103

Half of Today’s children will live until the age of 103, meaning people will have to work for longer to support themselves, a major enquiry has concluded.
The rapidly-rising older population will have to learn to get by without relying on the help of young taxpayers, according to the report.
The House of Lords study – Ready for Ageing? – reveals the number of people over 85 will more than double between 2010 and 2030. And one expert told the inquiry that any baby born after 2007 has a one in two chance of living past 100.
But the number of people with three or mote long-term health conditions will rise by 50% between 2010 and 2018.
The report, by the House of Lords committee on public service and demographic change, said: Professor Sarah Harper of the Oxford Institute of Population Ageing told the Daily Mail that if we us cohort life expectancy for the 2007-birth cohort, you can say that 50% of that cohort will still be alive by the time they are 103.
The population is ageing rapidly but the government and our society are woefully unprepared. Longer lives can be a great benefit, but there has been a collective failure for years to address the implications and without urgent action this great boon could and most probably will turn into a series of miserable crises’.
Based on Whitehall figures, the report said nearly 11 million people would need financial support when they retire.
It added: ‘It would be naive to think that this can simply come from taxpayer-funded resources’. That’s pretty obvious to anybody with an inkling of the mess we are getting into!!!.