Cost of an NHS worker’s phone? Just 75p a week

Good deal on mobiles for staff
Good deal on mobiles for staff

Fears that health workers are running up huge mobile phone bills at taxpayers expense were rejected.

Instead it appears the NHS is able to access one of the best deals around – only 75p per handset per week.

Almost 1300 people, about one-fifth of NHS Forth Valley’s workforce, are provided with mobile phones.

However, there were concerns that no checks were made on personal use, leaving the system open to abuse.

A Freedom of Information request by a member of the public followed a conversation with a member of staff who said they could use their NHS phone for all their personal calls and text with no monitoring.

The woman who raised the issue said: “Surely in this day and age where every penny counts, a public funded body such as NHS Forth Valley cannot afford to subsidise their staff with free mobiles and unlimited calls and texts.

“Even a nominal charge would cover most usage and bring in some much-needed income. As a tax payer, I find this situation very hard to understand.”

However, it appears that the annual cost of each phone is only £39.

A spokeswoman for NHS Forth Valley said: “Staff who are isued with mobile phones represent about one-fifth of the workforce and are colleagues who have to be available in emergency situations or work in the community where they need to be contactable throughout the day.

“Mobile phones are provided by EE as part of the NHS National Contract. The annual contract cost to NHS Forth Valley is around £42.000 plus VAT.”