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Wednesday, May 22, 2024
Wednesday May 22, 2024
Wednesday May 22, 2024

Outrage over NHS Hospital’s £58,000 spending on Las Vegas work trip: as ‘obscene’ amid struggling finances

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Princess Alexandra hospital faces backlash for sending 14 staff to a Las Vegas summit, costing taxpayers £58,476; justification questioned amid a&e waiting time woes

A struggling NHS hospital, Princess Alexandra Hospital, is facing criticism for spending £58,000 on a work trip to Las Vegas. Fourteen staff members from the cash-strapped hospital were accommodated in Sin City for the three-day Oracle CloudWorld summit, where they were supposed to learn about healthcare technology. The trip, including flights, extended to five days and featured stays at a £400-a-night hotel, with an outing on the casino strip included.

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The controversy arises as the hospital in Harlow, Essex, grapples with being the fourth worst in England for A&E waiting times, with half of its patients waiting more than four hours to receive medical attention. The hospital’s Chief Information Officer, Phil Holland, defended the trip, stating that funding did not come from “frontline staffing, operational, or healthcare budgets.”

However, one patient expressed outrage, calling the attempt to justify the £58,000 spending on the trip “obscene” and an “insult.” Conservative MP Nigel Mills criticized it as a “ridiculous waste of money.” An NHS England spokesman emphasized the need for wise spending of taxpayers’ money and stated that overseas trips should only occur when absolutely necessary.

The revelation about the Las Vegas trip coincided with a six-day BMA strike involving 120 junior doctors at the hospital, set to conclude soon.

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