Healthwatch shortchanged: I am Jack’s complete lack of surprise

arbitrary constant

News from Healthwatch England today that:

around a quarter of the £43.5 million made available by the Department of Health to fund local Healthwatch has failed to materialise in local Healthwatch accounts.

Collectively the 148 local Healthwatch organisations have received £10 million less than was outlined in the budget by the Health Secretary

The money has either gone missing when it was allocated to DCLG to give to local authorities, or when local authorities themselves allocated it to local Healthwatch.

I’d love to say this was a one-off, but unfortunately it’s not. I previously pointed out:

although £27m was allocated for LINks, Councils only spent £24.3m of it on LINks – they effectively creamskimmed 9% off the budget

and concluded there was “no guarantee they won’t do the same for local [Healtwatch]”. Sure enough, that’s what’s happened.

There will be talk of “commissioning and procurement” costs, as well as…

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