article in the Sunday Telegraph
"Almost £20 million has been spent on contracts which were axed last year soon after a shift in policy following the appointment of Alan Johnson as health secretary.
Close to £7 million was spent by the Department of Health (DoH) on plans to build clinics to perform basic operations and tests which were later abandoned.
A further £12.5 million was paid to private firms, after negotiations for other clinics were halted, or centres closed just months after contracts begun.
Doctors and opposition politicians described the revelations, buried in the DoH's annual accounts, as a "scandalous" waste of taxpayers money which should have been spent treating patients."
"Earlier investigations by Health Service Journal have revealed that close to £220 million may have been wasted among existing private centres who were paid "block" rates by the NHS, regardless of how many patients they treated.
The latest revelations about wastage among units which did not even open their doors shocked experts.
Matthew Elliott, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance said: "This is yet another example of taxpayers being left with the bill for gross mismanagement in the NHS.""
The Department of Health is the pits in so many ways, but you've got to admit that it's absolutely ace at wasting money...)o:
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