Cash-strapped NHS bosses in Milton Keynes have been blasted for hiring “luxury” facilities at Center Parcs Woburn Forest for a business meeting.
All top officials of hospitals, councils and ambulance services in MK and surrounding areas have been invited to the ‘CEO Group Development Day’ today (Thursday).
But some of them are said to be questioning the expense of the exercise, which has been organised by Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes Integrated Care System.
Ironically BLMK was set up - at a cost of millions of pounds - to seek cash savings and other improvements for local NHS services.
A council source told the Citizen: “The BLMK STP has been running for over three years and it would be hard to point to any fundamental improvements it has made Meanwhile its large and well-paid management spend NHS cash on away days at Center Parcs. It’s not right.”
Another protester said: “Why do they need to hire a venue when between them they have about a dozen meeting rooms and halls in council buildings and hospitals that they could use?”
A spokesperson for BLMK Integrated Care System said: “A conference room at the Woburn Centre has been booked for a meeting of local health and care system chief executives and lead officers. The meeting is to discuss planning for the upcoming financial year. The venue was selected as it is central and accessible and allows for those with evening work commitments to easily travel to their next appointments."
BLMK say the cost of the Centre Parc room hire plus a sandwich lunch is £945. Meeting are held “sparingly” in external venues to minimise costs, they said.