By John Ensor • 01 September 2023 • 17:25
Recent information has revealed a huge loss by NHS UK, leading to accusations of mismanagement and wating taxpayer’s money.
The NHS is selling off beds initially purchased for Nightingale hospitals at a fraction of their original cost. The beds, originally costing £2,500 each, are now being sold for a fraction of the price, some for as little as £6, according to the Daily Record.
As of today, the NHS has acknowledged a £13 million loss on these unused emergency beds. These beds were intended for seven temporary hospitals set up during the pandemic. The NHS stated: ‘There was a small number of beds that was specifically tailored for the Nightingale that could not be repurposed and they have been sold to private sellers to recover costs for the taxpayer.’
Angela Rayner, Deputy Labour leader, commented: ‘The public deserves the truth about what’s been sold off and why. Ministers must come clean over their role in giving the green light for a fire sale of beds.’
In its last two annual reports, the NHS Commissioning Board revealed ‘constructive losses’ of £13m, including storage costs. These losses were attributed to ’emergency beds that were procured for the Nightingale hospitals at the beginning of the pandemic.’
Although the NHS has not disclosed the exact number of beds sold, more than 1,000 new Oska hospital beds have been found for sale online and at auctions recently. NHS Procurement had offered these beds to members of the Care Provider Alliance at half price in February 2021.
On July 26 and August 1, auctioneers Simon Charles of Stockport, Cheshire, sold 47 Oska hospital beds for £6 to £17 each. US website Bimedis listed 1,000 Oska beds at £120 each, shipped from the UK. Jo Maugham of the Good Law Project stated: ‘What we see now is beds being sold off quietly at knockdown prices crystallising massive losses for the taxpayer.’
Seven Nightingale hospitals were erected in England at a reported cost of £530m but were scarcely used. Oska, one of the bed suppliers, said: ‘We cannot comment on any government decisions that have ensued since.’
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Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina.
He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.
When he's not writing for EWN he enjoys gigging in a acoustic duo, looking after their four dogs, four chickens, two cats, and cycling up mountains very slowly.
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