WIGAN health trust spent nearly £3,000 on four iPads last year despite being forced to make savings of £13.4 million this year.
NHS Ashton Wigan and Leigh spent £2,851.20 on four of the high-tech gadgets, according to the new figures, released under the Freedom of Information Act.
The trust says that the iPads are necessary to keep up with modern technology, and are cost-effective in terms of business use.
NHS Ashton, Leigh and Wigan’s chief operating officer Julie Southworth said: “We are committed to moving with the times and making the most of new technology.
“To this end, we invested in four iPads to test and review their usefulness as a business tool.
“These have been shared between the Community Trust and ourselves. Currently, the deputy managing director uses an iPad.
“So far, we have found them to be very cost-effective in helping to facilitate distance working and reducing the amount of paperwork that needs to be produced.
“They have also replaced Blackberries for emails and provide a much better interface for business.”
The iPad is a line of tablet computers designed, developed and marketed by Apple, primarily as a platform for audio-visual media, including books, periodicals, movies, music, games, and web content.
The iPad Two. which is the latest version, currently retails in the UK at between £399 and £659, depending on specifications.
However the trust’s spending on iPads has been called into question by some.
Robert Oxley, of the campaign pressure group the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “NHSALW cannot afford to be splashing out on iPads.
“Of course, the NHS need to invest in new technology, but iPads are premium products which there is no need for.
“What should be questioned is if a trust that has to make so many savings can spend £3,000 on iPads, where else are they not saving money?”