Magazine article Public Finance

Seven New PFI Hospitals Given the Green Light

Magazine article Public Finance

Seven New PFI Hospitals Given the Green Light

Article excerpt

Public services union Unison has attacked the government's decision to approve seven new Private Finance Initiative hospitals with a capital value of £1.5bn.

The go-ahead for the schemes on February 26 followed a Department of Health moratorium on PFI projects because of concerns that NHS trusts should not over-commit themselves in the new uncertain era of competition and Patient Choice.

However, the seven schemes - in Kent, Bristol, Gloucester, Teesside, Mid-Yorkshire, Middlesex and Essex - will be reduced in scope by about 15%. A further 23 schemes are still waiting DoH approval.

Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt said the move proved that the government was Opening hospitals, not closing them'. She added: 'Finding a way forward for each of these seven new hospital schemes is great news for patients in all of these areas.'

Four of the seven hospital trusts - Mid-Yorkshire, North Bristol, South Tees and North Middlesex were highlighted as political trouble spots in DoH 'heat maps' leaked to the press last summer. …

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