Trust loses out on cash

THE HEALTH trust which runs Dewsbury District Hospital is not among those handed a Government bailout for its new buildings.
Seven bodies will share £1.5bn over the next 25 years to help with private finance initiatives (PFI) that are causing them cash problems.
MidYorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs Dewsbury but is not one of the seven, was among 22 named last year as being at risk due to PFI.
The trust is saddled with a £311m bill for new hospitals at Pinderfields and Ponteract, which is owed to contractor Consort Healthcare.
Many PFI deals were negotiated when interest rates were higher, leaving some trusts with contracts they now cannot afford.
In a 2010 report for the Government, management consultants McKinsey recommended Whitehall look at ways to renegotiate PFI deals.
Nationally, seven trusts were identified as being unable to pay their PFI deals without extra funds. Health secretary Andrew Lansley said: “A small number of NHS trusts with PFI arrangements have historic problems relating to these arrangements.
"Our announcement last week is the latest stage in a programme of work we began in 2010 to identify and tackle financial problems in the NHS.”
MidYorkshire bosses, who insist their PFI is affordable, are instead focusing on dealing with an expected £20m budget deficit.
A trust spokesman said: “In April 2011, we agreed with our commissioners and the strategic health authority to reduce costs by £60m by March 2013.
“We’ve made significant headway in meeting many of our planned cost improvement savings, but they’ve not all been realised.
“It means we are forecasting a yearend deficit of £19.7m. We need to work harder still to turn around our difficult financial position.
“But it’s important we continue to provide safe and effective services. We’ll work with our commissioners and the SHA to find sustainable solutions.”

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