Health chiefs pledge support over King's Mill Hospital's ‘crippling’ PFI

Health chiefs have pledged to help King’s Mill Hospital “secure best value for money” on its PFI contract.

By Jon Ball
Wednesday, 29th January 2020, 11:45 am
Updated Thursday, 30th January 2020, 4:53 pm

Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Trust (SFH), which runs the Sutton hospital, signed the private finance initiative agreement to build the hospital and refurbish Newark and Mansfield hospitals, as well as run some services until 2043, back in 2005.

The project cost developers £326 million, but, by the time it is paid off, interest and fees will take the cost to the trust to more than £1 billion –indeed, the trust is paying £1 million each week towards the contract.

Lee Anderson, Ashfield MP, and Ben Bradley, Mansfield MP, have now met Health Secretary Matt Hancock to discuss the “crippling PFI deal” and push for investment in the hospital.

Mansfield MP Ben Bradley, left, and Ashfield MP Lee Anderson, centre, with Health Secretary Matt Hancock.

Mr Anderson said: “Our trust has probably the worst PFI deal in history – £1 million a week is a colossal amount – and, while our NHS comes under more strain each month, we see millions of pounds that could be used for front line health services being doled out to PFI providers.

“This is madness and we must learn from this mistake to make sure public money is never again wasted on this scale.”

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesman (DHSC) said: “We are no longer using PFI for new projects and are working hard to help secure best value for money for hospitals on the remaining contracts.”

And Mr Anderson added: “I was pleased to hear Mr Hancock shares our concerns over PFI and is looking at ways of getting a better deal for hospitals tied into these deals.”

King's Mill Hospital, Sutton.

Calling for more funding for the hospital, Mr Bradley said: “We’re determined to get the investment local people deserve.”

The DHSC spokesman said: “Our new health infrastructure plan will upgrade facilities across the NHS, backed with at least £4.8 billion.”

Reassuring patients that its PFI payments had no impact on care, SFH said it “welcomed any opportunity to discuss these costs at a national level”.