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£1.5m spent on private care for NHS staff, say Lib Dems

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The NHS spent £1.5m over the last three years paying for its staff to receive private healthcare, the Liberal Democrats have claimed.

Figures released to the party under the Freedom of Information act show a total of £1.5m was spent between 2006-07 and 2008-09. Where details were provided, common treatments were for physiotherapy and counselling.

According to the Liberal Democrat figures, the biggest spender on private care for staff was East Midlands Ambulance trust which spent over £350,000 over the three year period.

Liberal Democrat health spokesman Norman Lamb said: “I’m not surprised that so many trusts have to contract in private companies to provide for physiotherapy, counselling and therapy as they are often woefully under resourced. The sad reality of our health service today is that if you happen to suffer from an illness not covered by a government target then you will often have to wait months for the care you need.”

“It makes sense for the NHS to want to get doctors and nurses back to work as quickly as possible but these figures will be little comfort for those people stuck on waiting lists trying to get access to treatment.”

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