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NHS England officials spent £200k on expenses in one year


16 May 2014

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The newly appointed NHS England chief executive has promised to clamp down on excessive expenses claims from top officials. 
Nine NHS England board members spent close to £200,000 last year on meals, taxi fares and hotels that cost up to £500 per night. 
Simon Stevens has told staff at NHS England to “think like a patient and act like a taxpayer”. 
In the first year of operation, the nine board members spent £195,802 on travel, meals and hotels during 2013/14. 

The newly appointed NHS England chief executive has promised to clamp down on excessive expenses claims from top officials. 
Nine NHS England board members spent close to £200,000 last year on meals, taxi fares and hotels that cost up to £500 per night. 
Simon Stevens has told staff at NHS England to “think like a patient and act like a taxpayer”. 
In the first year of operation, the nine board members spent £195,802 on travel, meals and hotels during 2013/14. 
The highest bill was for Tim Kelsey, the Telegraph found. He spent £46,000 during the year, including £21,000 on hotels and fine dining, with claims of £370 per night. 
Jane Cummings, the chief nursing officer, spent over £27,000. 
And Sir David Nicholson, who recently stood down as chief executive, spent a total of £32,000 during 2013/14. 
An immediate ban on first-class travel has been implemented by Stevens. Instead, the 6,000 staff have been instructed to use public transport. 
He said: “NHS England has set new standards for openness and transparency in all of its operations, compared with what went before.
“And I’ve set myself and our organisation the goal in everything we do of 'thinking like a patient, and acting like a taxpayer’.”
A spokesman for NHS England said last night: “Simon wants the highest standards of transparency, governance and behaviour. He has already banned first-class travel and made clear public transport should always be taken where possible.”
Charlotte Leslie, a Conservative member of the Commons health select committee said: “It is a very welcome sign that Simon Stevens seems to understand — in a way that his predecessor did not — that these executives should not be a law unto themselves.
“These people are unaccountable to the public; they can’t be voted out so they need to be responsible with taxpayers’ money.”
She added: “Some of the sums are pretty astounding, these amounts they are lavishing on themselves. It fuels the idea that these people are in a separate universe to the public and to the rest of the NHS.”

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