Plans for a shakeup of health services in Lincolnshire have cost taxpayers almost £1.2 million and they haven’t even been finished yet.
The Lincolnshire Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) will set out changes for NHS services in the region in the coming years and includes a review of hospital services.
Figures obtained by a Freedom of Information request show that a total of £1,171,007 was spent on costs associated with the Lincolnshire STP in 2017/18 alone.
That includes £679,262 spent by the seven NHS organisations involved in the partnership on pay costs and £83,145 on non-pay.
Lincolnshire received a total of £215,326 from national resources in order to offset some of these payments.
An additional £408,600 was used for external consultants alone to carry out work on the impact of the acute services review.
The news comes after John Turner, senior responsible officer for the STP, told members of the Health Scrutiny Panel for Lincolnshire that plans for reorganisation of health services will not be published until 2019.
This is despite an initial draft report for the STP being published in 2016 and concern being raised over the slow progress of the plans.
Mr Turner said that the STP have to go through the right processes with NHS England and that it would be “unwise” to give a specific date of when the proposals will be published.
A draft plan outlining a required £205 million investment in the county’s three main hospitals and the downgrading of Grantham A&E was unanimously rejected by Lincolnshire County Council in December 2016.
Concerns have now been raised that delays in publishing the STP plan are risking public and staff confidence in the NHS.
Lincolnshire County Council has called for the NHS to publish a plan for public consultation on the STP “without delay”.
Lincolnshire STP, now a standalone organisation, have been approached for comment but would not provide a statement by the time of publishing.