A Freedom of Information request has revealed that the body brought in to deal with overspending within the South London Healthcare NHS Trust has gone 25 per cent over its own budget.
The request, placed by Liberal Democrat councillor Chris Maines on November 22, revealed that on December 18 the Department for Health had to add a further £1m to Matthew Kershaw’s budget for the Special Trust Administrator, which was already set at £4m.
Cllr Maines said, “It is beyond belief that a person employed to find substantial savings could not demonstrate how to live within a generous budget himself.
“I am frankly amazed that Mr Kershaw did not consider that it is was vital for him to live within his set budget, given that the public consultation meetings started with a video lecturing the audience on the importance of living within a given budget.
“Many members of the audiences felt offended and patronised by Mr Kershaw when he explained that the problem was like our own household budgets, and we had to control our spending. He clearly failed to follow his own advice and this must question his credibility.”
Kershaw was tasked with advising on the reduction of the south London Trust’s £65m deficit. His proposals, which included replacing Lewisham Hospital’s A&E with an urgent care centre, were met with widespread objections from across England, and a series of protests within the borough.
Cllr Maines said: “Although the Department of Health have refused to give me a detailed breakdown, I understand Mr Kershaw’s office and personal costs were over £1m and a further £3.1m went towards consultancy cost.”
The 30 day public consultation on the closure of the A&E ended on December 13, with a candlelit vigil from protesters. Kershaw will submit his final recommendation to the Secretary of State for Health Jeremy Hunt by early January 2013.
Hunt’s will decide on the future of Lewisham’s A&E on January 26. Campaign groups are organising a London-wide protest on the same day to coincide with the announcements.
Eastlondonlines is still awaiting comment from the TSA.
For more information on Save Lewisham Hospital campaigns, click here.