Evaluations for health projects overdue

Altnagelvin Hospital.
Altnagelvin Hospital.

The evaluations for several health service projects completed in Londonderry recently are currently overdue, it’s been revealed.

According to the Health Minister, Edwin Poots, a ‘Post Project Evaluation’ (PPE) was supposed to be completed for the ‘Adult Mental Health Crisis Service’ - a capital project at Gransha - on May 30, 2013.

However, according to the Department of Finance and Personnel’s database this hadn’t been completed due to the complexity of the project. It was, however, listed for completion by mid-June this year.

PPEs are supposed to be planned before project closure and are supposed to compare outturn against estimated costs and benefits. They should also review the success in achieving objectives.

They should also be conducted six to twelve months after project closure and should be led by someone independent of those who delivered the project.

Evaluations for several other smaller Western Trust projects were also overdue, the Minister revealed.

Although these projects were below the expenditure threshold where the evaluations needed to be submitted to the DFP.

They include a ‘Sleepknit’ project to implement ‘alternative textiles at Altnagelvin,’ which hadn’t been evaluated on April 30, 2014; a ‘gamma camera and radiology room 8’ project at Altnagelvin that hadn’t been evaluated on May 1, 2014; and an ‘Altnagelvin fire lift’ project, which hadn’t been evaluated on April 1, 2014.

In each of this instances reminder letters were issued by the Department of Health to the Western Trust urging the completion of evaluations.

There were also a number of overdue PPEs for external consultancy business cases below the DFP delegated limit of £75,000.

These included one for the Western Trust listed as ‘PFI energy advice.’ The Minister said an evaluation was being sought from the Trust.