Figures show Portsmouth hospital trust spends £31,000 a year on paper

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MORE than £30,000 was spent on paper in one year by Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, figures have shown.

A Freedom of Information (FOI) Act request by Conservative MP Craig Mackinlay and the Taxpayers’ Alliance showed the trust, which runs Queen Alexandra Hospital, spent the most of all NHS trusts per pack of paper it purchased.

In 2016 the Cosham site spent £4.65 per ream, more than double the average for NHS trusts of £1.95. In total for the year, the trust spent £31,499 on 6,774 packs.

The lowest amount paid by a trust was by Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust at £1.40 per ream.

Councillor Donna Jones, Tory leader of Portsmouth City Council, said: ‘The demand in NHS services has grown dramatically and it is imperative hospitals spend the money they receive as wisely as possible.

‘The FOI about the costs of purchasing made by QA Hospital does seem expensive.

‘However that was done under the previous chief executive and I have confidence the new chief executive will be making sensible choices on future spending at QA.’

Councillor Gerald Vernon-Jackson, leader of the Liberal Democrat Party in Portsmouth, branded the spend ‘too expensive’.

He added: ‘For an organisation like QA this is clearly a waste of money that could be spent on patient care.’

But Portsmouth South Labour MP Stephen Morgan questioned why the FOI was made in the first place.

He said: ‘While Tories worry about the cost of paper, I’m more concerned about making sure every patient accessing health services get the care they need. My priority is to see our local NHS and staff given support.’

The FOI request by Mr Mackinlay, who represents South Thanet, asked authorities like councils, police, fire and NHS clinical commissioning groups for their prices.

The data found the highest amount paid was £5 per pack of paper by Wokingham CCG while the lowest amount paid was by Runnymede Borough Council at just 75p.

Mr Mackinlay said: ‘Hard-pressed taxpayers will be more than a little concerned to learn many public sector bodies are not getting value for money when purchasing everyday items such as paper.

‘What other basic items are public bodies paying through the nose for?’

PHT did not comment when approached by The News.