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NHS quango fatcats spend £2m tax dosh on iPads and iPhones

British health chiefs coughed small fortune on Apple gadgets

Government health chiefs have admitted to spending millions of pounds furnishing bureaucrats with Apple iPhones and fondleslabs.

Taxpayers forked out more than £2m to buy iThings for the staff of NHS non-departmental public bodies, which are arms-length government organisations more commonly known as quangos.

Dr Daniel Poulter, Health Minister and Tory MP for Central Suffolk and North Ipswich, revealed the figures in response to a Parliamentary question.

The good doctor's financial rectitude was previously called into question after he awarded his mother a £1,500 pay rise.

NHS England has spent a total of £1.2m on Apple gizmos, purchasing 115 iPads and 400 iPhones in the financial year of 2012. Since then, it has snapped up another 150 iPads and 1,900 iPhones.

Public Health England forked out £530,000 on 2,036 iPhones and £113,743 on 65 iPads since 2012, while The Health & Social Care Information Centre, a body which chews through NHS patient data, netted five iPads and 186 iPhones in the same period, amounting to a total spend of £45,875.

The Care Quality Commission, which conducts inspections of hospitals and other medical facilities, spent £129,122 since 2012 on buying two iPhones and 238 iPads and the relatively frugal National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, which decides which drugs should be offered to NHS patients, spent just £3,717 on the purchase of nine iPads and an iPhone.

Karl Turner, Labour MP for Hull, attacked health chiefs for spending loads of dosh on "office perks".

"At a time when the NHS is in crisis, out-of-touch Tory ministers are splashing more than £2m on iPhones and iPads for pen pushers," he fumed.

A Department of Health spokesman insisted the gizmos were critical to a modern NHS.

He said: "Employers across the world are embracing 21st-century technology such as smartphones and tablets because they allow staff to be more flexible and efficient, and in the case of the public sector provide better value for money for taxpayers."

And at least quangocrats can play Angry Birds during a quieter moment. ®

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