It is not TTA’s own Gimlet Eye that features in this item, but Private Eye “a fortnightly British satirical and current affairs magazine” (Wikipedia) which, in the current issue (1341), picks up again [TTA Nov. 2010] the matter of the North Yorkshire and York (NYY) procurement of Tunstall telehealth equipment and the subsequent writing off of its capital value. The page 31 item does not make it into the highly cut-down online version of the magazine and there is nothing in it with which readers of the Yorkshire Post newspaper or of TTA’s own coverage [March 2013] will be unfamiliar.
Rather surprisingly, Private Eye does not pick up on what should be the matter of most concern for taxpayers – the status of the funds paid to Tunstall under the terms of the contract but for which no goods or services have been called off by the health services. We have not had any indication that these funds have been or will be returned to the public purse and, indeed, we speculate that there may not be a contractual requirement or mechanism to do so any more. However, Tunstall’s directors, being ethical people, surely cannot be comfortable with this situation and it will be interesting to see how they resolve it.