Mid Cheshire Hospitals waste thousands on utility bills

Northwich Guardian: Mid Cheshire Hospitals waste thousands on utility bills Mid Cheshire Hospitals waste thousands on utility bills

DESPITE wasting thousands of pounds on utility bills, Mid Cheshire Hospitals were among the most efficient in the country last year after the NHS overspent by more than £41miillion.

In total, the NHS spent more than £630million on energy and £80million on water in the 2012-13 tax year, according to research by the TaxPayers’ Alliance.

Using official NHS statistics, they calculated the potential savings for sites paying above the average rate for energy and water bills – the North West could have saved around £4million.

Mid Cheshire Hospitals’ expenditure was therefore relatively low, Northwich’s Victoria Infirmary overspent by £6,480 on water and £1,713 on energy, Elmhurst Intermediate Care Centre in Winsford could have saved £7,746 on energy, but nothing on water, and Leighton Hospital in Crewe wasted no money at all.

A Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust spokesperson said: “As with all NHS organisations, Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust aims to make the most efficient and effective use of the resources available and, in terms of the total costs of energy and water, compares well with surrounding Trusts.

“Leighton Hospital generates some of its own electricity and uses the resultant waste heat in its boilerhouse in a process known as Combined Heat and Power.

“For the Trust’s smaller sites – the Victoria Infirmary in Northwich and Elmhurst Intermediate Care Centre in Winsford – the cost of utilising such a system would be too high, so simple energy conserving measures are utilised alongside specific information bulletins to staff.”

The TaxPayers’ Alliance estimated that money wasted annually on excessive utility bills could cover the cost of employing an extra 1,350 nurses.

Chief executive Matthew Sinclair said: “People pay a lot of money to support the NHS in their taxes and they expect to see every penny possible spent on front line care, not wasted overpaying for basics like energy and water.

“This is just one way for the NHS to save millions and ease the pressure on its finances created by years of runaway growth in costs.

“Before Trusts complain about pressure on their finances now that the bumper increases in funding have dried up, they should take these kind of opportunities to secure better value for money.

“They need to shop around for a better deal. It is time for a war on waste in the NHS.”

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