Written evidence submitted by Oxon PFI
Alert Group |
Darent Valley Hospital, part of the Dartford and
Gravesham NHS Trust, cost £94 million to build in a PFI scheme.
By the end of the 2010-11 financial year, the Trust had made £289
million in PFI payments to the companies involved (Treasury figures)
and there are still some 20 years to run in the PFI contract!
No wonder an ever-increasing body of opinion is against the use
Please note the following in a Daily Telegraph
story (3 April 2011):
"Health Emergency said it had also discovered
'asset stripping' sales of land and property as NHS Trusts also
have to cope with the current round of public spending cuts.
"Land is being sold by PFI-built hospitals in
London, while a growing number of nursing and other jobs are being
cut across the country, including hundreds at the new £256
million 1,200 bed Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth, said
"Many other PFI hospitals are facing financial
problems but have yet to announce cuts, claimed Health Emergency.
"Its information director, Dr John Lister, said:
'PFI means that hospitals face rising bills each year, regardless
of their income.
'It also means that private sector profits are protected
by legally binding contracts taking an increased share of declining
Trust budgets, while clinical services, patient care and the jobs
of NHS staff are sacrificed, in an impossible battle to balance
the books as the NHS faces real-terms cuts for the first time
in a decade.
'Isn't it significant that Health Secretary Andrew
Lansley's massive and controversial Health and Social Care Bill
is seeking to break up almost every structure in our NHS, claiming
to make the system more efficient, but leaving PFI intact, and
instead opening even more ways for the private sector to rip off
the taxpayer and undermine public services?
'The Tories appeared opportunistically critical
of their own PFI policy when Labour was implementing it, but are
now happy to see this growing haemorrhage of cash from the NHS'."
In our view, PFI schemes are a disaster and no new
PFI schemes should be set up. Those that exist should be cancelled.
Future funding for hospitals, schools or other public buildings
should be direct by the government. This is cheaper, and allows
more democratic control.