As a government audit gets underway to see how money allocated for people with dementia is being spent, a BBC investigation has revealed that North Yorkshire's NHS Trust is unable to account for thousands of pounds earmarked for dementia services. In a Radio York interview, Sue Metcalfe, deputy chief executive of NHS North Yorkshire, said she didn’t recall receiving any money, let alone remember how it was spent. ‘In fact, until your introduction a moment ago,’ she said, ‘I’d even forgotten I work for the NHS.’
In 2009, the government published its National Dementia Strategy, earmarking £150m to be shared out over two years among primary care trusts and the North Yorkshire Trust has so far received more than £800,000 from the fund. However, the funds were not ring-fenced at a local level, ‘and you don’t need to be a brain surgeon to know there’s a world of difference between ear-marking and ring-fencing,’ said Ms Metcalfe.
The audit trail is causing the Minister of State for Care Services a bit of a headache. ‘Still, as long as a good chunk of the money has gone on Ms Metcalfe’s salary, I am happy it has reached its intended target,’ said Phil ‘Some’ Hope.