The London Ambulance Service (LAS) is facing severe backlash and accusations of wasteful spending as it comes to light that the organization has lost a significant number of iPads designated for its staff.
The LAS’s mismanagement of these digital devices has raised concerns about fiscal responsibility, with critics labeling the situation as “alarming” waste. According to data analyzed by the Taxpayers’ Alliance for GB News, the LAS has written off nearly as many iPads as it purchased for staff during the 2022/23 fiscal year.
Since 2020, the LAS has allocated a staggering £3,315,475 for the procurement of 6,857 iPads. This equates to an average cost of £483 per iPad, even though current iPad models are readily available for under £350 at retailers like Currys and Amazon.
While it remains unclear how many iPads were lost in the 2020/21 period, alarming statistics from the 2021/22 fiscal year revealed that 70 iPads went missing within just three months.
Jonathan Eida, representing the TaxPayers’ Alliance, expressed his dismay at the LAS’s handling of taxpayer funds, remarking, “The disappearance of digital equipment is happening at an alarming rate, and it’s taxpayers who are picking up the bill. Staff must take better care of expensive tech and remember who is paying for it.”
The LAS’s iPad acquisition spree saw an additional 5,000 iPads purchased for staff in October 2021. The move was justified by the LAS, citing the enhancement of patient care through improved access to vital information. According to the LAS, the iPads enabled ambulance crews to make informed decisions and streamline coordination with emergency departments, ensuring patients receive the most appropriate care.
This revelation has once again put a spotlight on the NHS’s spending habits, adding to a series of criticisms regarding fiscal waste. In a controversial instance from the previous year, the NHS spent over £330,000 on tattoo removal, offering free laser treatments to more than 2,000 individuals at taxpayers’ expense. Tattoo removal on the NHS is typically provided when it is deemed necessary to “protect a person’s health” and alleviate “significant distress or serious mental health problems” as determined by a doctor.
The LAS’s management of iPads has now ignited a fierce debate over the responsible use of public funds and the need for greater accountability within the NHS.