As North Devon District Hospital services are threatened because of a funding crisis, it has emerged the Success Regime itself is costing millions

A review of local health services has already cost taxpayers £2.7million in just six months.

It has emerged the Success Regime review of Devon’s NHS services cost a total of £2,702,063.55 from April to September 2016.

There have been fresh calls the reviews to be scrapped – county and district councillor Brian Greenslade has called on the NHS to stop wasting money on the process, which it is feared could lead to the loss of services at North Devon District Hospital.

He also called for Devon to receive a fairer share of NHS funding compared to other parts of the country.

Mr Greenslade was speaking following a letter seen by the Gazette from Mark Cooke, director of commissioning operations for NHS England South and South West.

In it, Mr Cooke says the funding formula is not the main issue and points out Devon will be faced with a £400m deficit by 2021 if nothing is done.

He says he is encouraged by the close working the Success Regime has generated and added: ‘These processes will now need to bear fruit, in the shape of proposals for genuine change’.

Any changes will need extensive consultation with the community, he said.

But Mr Greenslade said the Success Regime and the Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) process is ‘fundamentally flawed and should be halted’.

“The powers-that-be in the NHS say if they don’t act now then there will be a £400m deficit in NHS services in Devon,” he said.

“So if this is true why have they already spent £2.7m on the Success Regime/STP process which could have helped address the claimed deficit?

“For Mr Cooke to say the NHS funding formula is not the issue is nonsense. It is the whole issue and I have demonstrated that Devon receives £226m per year less than comparable Cumbria.

“If we had fair funding for Devon then we would not have a claimed deficit problem.”

A review of acute services across Devon is currently under way and the outcome is not likely to be known before the summer.