Allegations of political bias in funding for a personal medical service pilot run by a member of the NHS access taskforce have been dismissed as unfair by Salford and Trafford health authority.
Salford and Trafford local medical committee sent a letter to the HA complaining that over-generous funding of the Daruzzaman Care Centre was a result of 'politically motivated favouritism'.
However, HA chief executive Dr Ian Greatorex said: 'We have not acted unfairly as a health authority. The guy has not been given unfair advantages.' He said that he had told the LMC at a meeting that he would be happy for it to be involved in future assessments of the pilot.
Although some local GPs expressed the view that the pilot, run by nurse Lance Gardner, seemed to have received a lot of money, and that to hold up the pilot as a model of what nurses could achieve was therefore not appropriate, the funding was defended by others.
Salford East primary care group chair Dr Spencer Nicholson said the previous practice had been 'incredibly badly provided' and that the pilot is 'probably just about getting to where it should be'. He added: 'At the end of the day some approaches could be viewed as vested interests.'
Mr Gardner said the accounts of the pilot were always sent to all interested parties. He denied there was anything politically motivated about the pilot and his appointment, and said: 'I am not a political muppet. I have been very critical of ministers.'