So Sherwood Forest Hospitals Trust slides further into deficit and wants to re-negotiate the PFI contract.
As a backdrop we have the £2.2 billion shortfall for NHS trusts throughout the country, according to the national audit office.
Is the answer really for the Government to just pour even more cash into a black hole on the wild assumption it might be well spent on essential services and not squandered on “nice to haves”?
Fundamental to the trust making progress is the need for sound financial management so real improvements can be made. If that isn’t right then no renegotiation of PFI or extra cash is going to make any difference.
You would expect, I suppose, that as much money as possible would be spent on nurses, doctors, equipment, and other front line services in order to improve hospital medical facilities. I am not convinced that this is the case.
For example, the hospital employs chaplains to carry out religious ceremonies.
All this is paid for out of the hospital budget i.e public funds, in spite of the fact such services are freely available from all of the respective denominations in our home communities.
Why taxpayers should be expected to fork out hundreds of thousands of pounds to fund such activities is beyond me.
Surely the time for such special money-making privileges is over.
If this was renegotiated it would release badly needed funds for essential services.
This raises the question of what other things like this are around that result in wasted money. It shouldn’t be that difficult to shine a torch into a few nooks and crannies of management activities.
But then, it’s only taxpayers’ money, so what’s the problem? The rest of us can carry on trying to raise funds for charity to pay for really important things like scanners.
Berry Hill Lane, Mansfield