The £16,000 cost of NHS chiefs’ cuppas

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WIGAN’S hospital chiefs have reduced their bill for tea and coffee during official meetings.

Information obtained under Freedom of Information rules reveals that in the financial year of 2011/12, Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust (WWL) spent £19,233 on refreshments.

The bill included the costs of tea, coffee, milk and biscuits for meetings between internal staff and external guests.

But following a budget review, bosses have reduced this bill to £16,023 in 2012/13.

Chiefs have also removed the subsidised drinks machine, replacing it with a pay vendor.

A spokesman for WWL said: “Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust can confirm that the monies spent on refreshments reduced as we have reduced the beverages that are provided to meetings across the organisation.

“The only meetings that are provided with beverages are those with external guests or as authorised by divisional managers.

“We have also removed a free beverage machine from the trust board room, and this has been replaced by a nearby pay vendor.

“Some of the refreshments are when WWL entertains guests who may have travelled some distance to visit the Trust or for VIP visits.

“On occasion the catering department may provide refreshments to training courses and we also do provide retirement buffets to staff who are retiring after 20 years’ service.

“The majority of hospitality is provided via the in-house catering team.”