LONG delays in releasing cash to improve an overstretched doctors’ surgery have been strongly criticised by the area’s MP.
George Hollingbery, MP for Clanfield and Horndean, called it a ‘bureaucratic nightmare’ as Clanfield Practice has yet to receive any of the financial benefits it was promised.
Around £66,000 is set to be handed over to the surgery in White Dirt Lane following on from the 275-home development at Windmill View, off Green Lane.
The cash is paid in instalments from the developers to the council, which then passes the cash on to the NHS.
It is understood £34,000 has been paid to East Hampshire District Council, but changes in the NHS structure mean the council does not know where the money should be passed on to.
Mr Hollingbery told The News: ‘I have been trying to achieve progress for quite some time on what is a complex bureaucratic nightmare and I very much share the frustrations of Clanfield Surgery, which was awarded this money totalling £66,000 from the developers nearly four years ago to expand their patient services.
‘The payment of that £66,000 is to be in phased instalments as the Green Lane development progresses.
‘Since 2011, it appears that £34,000 has been handed over by the developers but that money has not reached the surgery.
‘I have spoken to the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt about the issue and also his staff, but it appears that NHS England has actually still not published the policy and procedures that will allow for the release of this money.
‘Until it does, the cash stays in the coffers despite the surgery already spending £5,000 of its own money to kit out a new consulting room for an extra doctor.’
He added: ‘The speed with which NHS England has gone about getting these procedures in place is frankly unacceptable.’
Councillor Angela Glass, in charge of planning, said there is sometimes a ‘lengthy period’ between the collection of funds and delivery of improvements due to feasibility studies and a tendering process.
A spokeswoman for NHS England said no cash had been paid to them. There was no further comment.