The collapse of the controversial Uniting Care project in Cambridgeshire last year may have cost local people in Cambridgeshire as much as £14m according to the latest investigation, which reveals that NHS England didn’t really know what was going on. The report, commissioned by NHS England, says a further investigation is needed into advisers, including the controversial Strategic Projects Team, itself an arm of NHS England.
Cambridge MP Daniel Zeichner, who has called for a comprehensive investigation by the National Audit Office, said that the report shows that Ministers had set up a fundamentally flawed system: “Forcing the NHS into this crazy contract culture has cost a fortune and is failing patients. Every page of this report is littered with examples of confusion and muddle, with conflicts of interest, and fundamental issues like who pays the VAT left unresolved. The Conservatives wanted to create a market – instead they have created expensive confusion, with highly-paid advisers making a series of basic errors. Ministers hide behind the excuse of ignorance, but there has been enough buck-passing and it is time Jeremy Hunt apologised for this hugely expensive failure.”