THE previous Health and Social Services board used money ring fenced for bowel cancer screening to help control its overspend, the current minister has claimed.
Mark Dorey, who is facing a vote of no confidence over its handling of spending on the service, has stated in written answers that ‘there was no [bowel cancer screening] sessions in December 2012, following the decision of the [then] HSSD board to reduce services to contain the department’s overspend’.
At the time the department was trying to stem a £2.5m. overrun in its budget and closed wards to help do that.
The claim from Deputy Dorey, who recently admitted unintentionally misinforming the States over the screening saga, has been angrily denied by former HSSD minister Hunter Adam, who prompted the response with rule six written questions.
Deputy Adam, who has signed a letter demanding the resignation of the current board, also questioned why his successor had difficulty in accessing ‘accurate, detailed financial information’ about bowel cancer screening.
Deputy Adam said: ‘There was no decision to reduce outpatient procedures, including bowel cancer screening.
‘Staff in these areas are mostly permanent HSSD staff and reduction in these services would not have had a significant effect on expenditure.'