That £9 million underspend – where did it go?

Meg Howarth writes: Since its formation in 2002, Islington PCT has made an annual saving on its capital account. This now totals over £9m (£9,118,000 to be precise), equivalent to more than £1m a year. Where is this money? If it’s been spent, how, and who decided? The PCT’s estimated cost of refurbishing FHC was also £9m – a figure queried by Islington Council’s excellent Health and Wellbeing Review Committee report which almost halved this estimate. So either way, there should be enough money in the kitty to transform FHC in to a 21st-century pubic health facility without any charitable funding. Using the council’s lower cost estimate of £5m, the PCT would even have a handsome surplus of £4m.

Is it perhaps the case that the £9m capital underspend has been used to finance the setting up of the NHS”s North Central London sector (NCL)? Although it covers a huge area (Islington, Camden, Enfield, Haringey and Barnet) the board is dominated by our local PCT’s board members, including the former chief exec Rachel Tyndall, who is now NCL’s chief exec. Paula Kahn chairs both NCL and Islington PCT.

While SaveFHC remains confident that charitable funding could be found for refurbishment, these figures make startling reading. The £20k needed to do an options appraisal for refurbishment seems like a drop in the ocean…

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