Thursday 23 January 2014
The Health and Social Services Department has published a detailed financial analysis of expenditure for the bowel cancer screening programme.
It shows that HSSD underspent by £86,392 in 2012, against a budget of £294,000. In 2013, they underspent by £155,972 against a budget of £327,500.
HSSD say that the financial breakdown does not include some of the overheads, because these were not included in the original business case. Such overheads, which are part of the true cost of providing the service, range from facilities and cleaning to management time. HSSD also say that staff time was only accounted for where new members of staff were recruited for the service. Although HSSD staff have taken on a substantial amount of extra work to deliver the bowel screening service (the time given by Pathology and Sterile Services staff was costed at around £32,000 per year), this was not included in the calculations.
HSSD Minister, Deputy Mark Dorey, said:
"The work involved in producing this analysis has been significant and complex, because no single cost centre was set up when the bowel screening programme started. It has involved substantial work for staff over the past few weeks, and the figures have been finalised only this week.
"I have apologised to States Members for providing inaccurate information (albeit in good faith) to the States in October and December. I will make a statement at the January States meeting to formally correct the answers I gave to the Rule 5 questions. In the meanwhile, HSSD will release its report on the Bowel Cancer Screening Service within the next few days.
Deputy Dorey said that the underspend on the Bowel Cancer Screening Service had been spent across the many services that HSSD provides:
"The unspent balance is not sitting anywhere unused. We have informed the States that we expect to be around £1.3m overspent across the whole of the HSSD budget for 2013. The underspend on the Bowel Cancer Screening Service has been used within the general expenditure. It has certainly not been reallocated to any particular project.
I wish to emphasise again that the bowel screening programme is a good service which is of benefit to islanders. We have successfully screened a large proportion of the original target population of 60-year-olds, and full credit is due to the hard work and commitment of HSSD and MSG staff in delivering this service."