Ex-watchdog defends £1.3m for health HQ
Apr 23 2008 by Barry Gibson, Huddersfield Daily Examiner
A PATIENTS’ champion has defended health bosses who plan to spend nearly £1m furnishing their new headquarters.
Kirklees Primary Care Trust (PCT) will move from St Luke’s Hospital at Crosland Moor to Bradley Business Park next year.
The trust plans to spend £900,000 on fixtures and fittings at the new headquarters for its 300 staff.
Moving costs come to a further £450,000.
And the former chairman of the now-abolished Kirklees Patient and Public Involvement Forum has defended the spending.
David Thompson said: “It’s a lot of money, but the PCT can’t stay in the pig-hole that they’re in at the minute. If you saw some parts of the PCT building at St Luke’s you wouldn’t want to work in it.”
Mr Thompson added: “At the end of the day they need to move because the building they are in at St Luke’s is rented and is going to be demolished at some point. The PCT has got to find new headquarters.”
Mr Thompson made clear that any spending on the new premises at Bradley Business Park would have been approved by the Strategic Health Authority (SHA).
He said: “The PCT can’t just go spending money willy-nilly. They’re trying to do the move as cheaply as possible.
“This money has all been approved by the SHA.”
Kirklees PCT also defended the move, saying it would save the trust £1.1m over ten years.
A spokeswoman said: “Before deciding on this location we carried out a detailed review of the office needs of the organisation, promoting open working, hot desking, home working and other ways of using office space to increase overall efficiency and effectiveness.
“The final decision was taken after considerable consultation with staff.”