Trust stamps out spending on hospitality

THE Southern Health Trust slashed its spending on hospitality by 75 percent last year following criticism of overspending.

And the public body said it has stopped using public money to pay for hospitality at meetings, courses and functions.

The decision was revealed following revelations of lavish spending in some departments amid times of cutbacks elsewhere.

It had been uncovered that Stormont’s departments and their ‘Quangos’ have spent £14m on wining and dining since devolution was restored in 2007.

A spokesperson for the Southern Health and Social Care Trust said: “All Trusts responded to an Assembly Question in March 2012 which confirmed that the Southern Trust expenditure on hospitality for the four-year period ending March 31, 2011 was £183,167.

“Within this overall sum, the trust spent £15,494 on hospitality in 2010/11 and this represents a 75 percent reduction over the period.

“The trust has always limited the use of hospitality to ensure appropriate use of public funds and is committed to reducing costs in areas which will not impact on the services we provide for our patients and clients.

“Hospitality for meetings, courses and other function has now been totally ceased within the trust.”