Thursday, January 17, 2008

Excellence comes at a price

Had a fascinating chat with a friend of mine from Buckinghamshire. It seems that the county has a centre of Excellence for Epilepsy, the NSE's Chalfont Centre at Chalfont St Peter.

This centre can accommodate 200 patients. Under the Government's care legislation, when the patients first turn up in Bucks, they're paid for by their home authority.

When they leave the Chalfont Centre, most of them stay, living locally. This makes them "ordinarily resident" in Buckinghamshire, and as such they become the financial responsibility of Buckinghamshire County Council.

Experts have calculated that the cost to Bucks tax payers to provide lifelong care for these two hundred patients will be in the region of £100,000,000 - none of which can be reclaimed.

One hundred million pounds - that's a big burden on rate payers just because they have facilities to be proud of. Hardly an incentive for authorities to invest in excellence...

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