Thursday, 26 March 2015

Barts Trust PFI debt should be written off

NHS campaigners wrote to three East London MPs yesterday urging them to support the call for Barts Trust’s PFI debt to be written off.
Local campaign group Waltham Forest Save Our NHS is calling on Leyton and Wansted Labour MP John Cryer, Walthamstow Labour MP Stella Creasy and Chingford Tory MP Iain Duncan Smith “to work together” to remove the hospital trust’s debt burden.
Barts Trust was recently put under special measures by the government after a damning Care Quality Commission report about care at Whipps Cross hospital, one of the six London hospitals under its management.
The Trust’s PFI debt, standing at £93 million, is the largest in the country and costs £2m a week to service.
“The PFI costs are unmanageable, unreasonable and growing,” says the letter, which points out that £58m of cuts made by Barts Trust last year were due to the need to save money because of PFI.
“In a vain attempt to save money, Barts management enforced mass redundancies and a demoralising down-banding of staff, which led to the disastrous consequences detailed in the CQC report.”
The campaign group warned that instead of a much-needed increase of funding local health services have been told to make an 11 per cent cut over the next five years.
“It is clear that services are being sacrificed on the altar of PFI and that PFI costs must be annulled to safeguard the health of the local community,” the group added.
“As our elected representatives it is incumbent upon each of you to work together to restore NHS services to your constituents, the people who pay not only for the NHS, but for you to properly represent our interests.”

*see morning star - 26/3/2015

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