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Did sale of Spalding's Old Johnson Hospital give district value for money?

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Questions have been raised over what value for money taxpayers received when a town eyesore was sold.

Spalding’s Old Johnson Hospital has become a constant source of negativity within the town with many calls for something to be done about its terrible state of disrepair.

Concerns have now been raised over the value patients received when the property was sold in 2010 by United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust.

Former Johnson Hospital, Spalding (55410354)
Former Johnson Hospital, Spalding (55410354)

According to the property’s title documents obtained from HM Land Registry, the Old Johnson Hospital was sold in October 2010 for £180,000 while the new Johnson Hospital opened in 2009.

The trust says the proceeds from the sale went into purchasing equipment for the new hospital.

Coun Angela Newton, who sits on the Johnson Hospital League of Friends said: “It seems as though that money is lost in the ether really.

“I suppose whatever they got didn’t make a lot of difference to what they ended up with. £180,000 isn’t going to get you much in the way of equipment and it all must date very quickly too.”

It is thought that the cost of the new hospital was around £23million.

Paul Matthew, director of finance and digital at ULHT said: “The old hospital closed and the new one opened at the same time, it then took time for the sale transaction to go through. The funds were then used for the purchase of clinical equipment for the new hospital such as x-ray machines.”

Coun Newton added: “Really, we want to see evidence of money being spent on new equipment and that is it being used. Have they got the machines there and are they using them? The Pennygate Foundation donated nearly £40,000 to the hospital for a machine to perform cataract operations to stop patients having to travel to Wisbech, but I am still unable to find out if it is being used.

“You’d think that they would be shouting from the rooftops about these things.”

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