The NHS restructuring programme to integrate heath and social care providers across Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes has cost over £22 million over the past two years.
The full figure was revealed following a Freedom of Information (FOI) request by Mayor Dave Hodgson.
Speaking during the latest Full Council meeting, he confirmed that he only received the figures on the day of the meeting, 68 days after requesting them.
The response to his request for the final budget position for 2018/19 and the budget for 2019/20 for the new Integrated Care System (ICS) only materialised after Mayor Dave submitted an FOI request, due to a failure to provide it previously.
The ICS is a new NHS structure which brings together health and social care providers across all of Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes. This includes NHS trusts and the four councils across the ICS area.
Bedford Borough Liberal Democrat Health Spokesperson Cllr Dean Crofts asked if the Mayor had been informed of the cost of the reorganisation and how much finance is being diverted from frontline services to pay for it.
Mayor Dave responded that he had been informed on the day of the meeting that the ICS’s budget was £10.7 million for 18/19, and £11.6 million for 19/20.
Commenting, Mayor Dave Hodgson said: “It shouldn’t take an FOI request for me or anyone else to get an answer to the simple question of how much the new Integrated Care System is costing us all.’
“Now we know the answer, and it’s a lot. With so much public money being spent on another NHS reorganisation, it is crucial that it is run with more transparency and accountability.”