Watchdog questions USA visit
A health watchdog is questioning doctors about a proposed £40,000 trip to the United States to look at its health systems.
Leicester local involvement network (Link) has written to Leicester City clinical commissioning group (CCG) after the Leicester Mercury reported the trip – for up to a dozen doctors and senior officials – was being considered.
Link members expressed concern the matter was being discussed in private.
In his letter to the CCG, Link chairman Hasmukh Jobanputra said: "We acknowledge that this is a proposal which has not been formally ratified.
"However, we would seek explanation as to why a matter of such significance was apparently listed for the private part of the CCG board meeting when it has no commercial sensitivity.
"Neither does it relate to the confidentiality of patient or employee."
The letter, which has 12 questions and points, also asked if other "significant decisions" have been taken in private "purely as a convenience".
It said "the anticipated cost of £3,333 per delegate is considered unacceptable and could be more effectively used for patient benefit".
The Link has asked the CCG to reply within 20 days.
A spokesman for the city CCG said: "We have received a letter and will be writing back.
"No decision on the proposed trip has been made."