A whistleblower has claimed the north-east’s health board has wasted hundreds of thousands of pounds on cars that have not been used.
A Freedom of Information request revealed that NHS Grampian has spent more than £200,000 to lease 130 cars for its staff in the past year.
The board insists that the vehicles have played a vital part in allowing its community nursing staff to travel across the north-east.
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However one senior member of staff has claimed the vast majority have sat in the car park at the Foresterhill health campus and barely been used.
“They have not travelled one mile,” the anonymous source claimed. “They are just sitting at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary (ARI) not being used.
“A number of them are sitting in the staff car park too. They have just sat there not moving for months.
“I think it’s because departments didn’t ask for them. The amount of money that is being lost on them must be well over £100,000.”
The FOI also revealed the board spent £313,192 on purchasing a tractor for grounds maintenance and 10 vans for delivering and collecting essential medical supplies.
Alexander Burnett, Aberdeenshire West MSP, said it was “vital” that the board did not waste any money in a tough economic climate.
He said: “These claims, reported to have been made by a senior member of staff, should be looked at closely.
“NHS Grampian received the lowest funding per head of any Scottish health board this year thanks to the SNP government.
“Money is very tight, so it is vital that nothing is wasted. If these vehicles are needed, then the expenditure will be justified.
“If not, however, then the public will rightly think these funds could be better spent elsewhere.”
An NHS Grampian spokesman said: “The vast majority of these vehicles – 115 of the 130 – are allocated to our community nurses who provide essential patient care to a population of more than half a million people spread over 3,000 square miles in Grampian.
“It is vital these staff have access to a vehicle to be able to travel to patients homes at any time from their community hospital, health centre or home base and to transport medical devices, consumables and aids.
“The average annual cost of £1,543 for each vehicle includes maintenance, servicing and repair and without access to these vehicles we simply wouldn’t be able to provide effective, timely care to our patients.”