Magazine article Public Finance

Soaring PFI Hospital Costs 'Are Threatening NHS Services'

Magazine article Public Finance

Soaring PFI Hospital Costs 'Are Threatening NHS Services'

Article excerpt

The annual costs to the NHS of Private Finance Initiative schemes will soar fivefold from £470m to £2.3bn over the next eight years and could damage services, Edinburgh University researchers claim.

A report from the Centre for International Public Health Policy, published on September 11, warns that as more schemes come to fruition, the rising costs will increase budget deficits and lead to service cuts.

The capital allowance that NHS trusts receive is insufficient to cover the high charges associated with PFI schemes, the report says. It concludes that trusts signed up to PFI schemes currently face an average income shortfall of 4.4% in meeting these payments. As PFI schemes proliferate, the financial problems will grow.

Report author Mark Hellowell warned: 'The payments to PFI consortiums are an albatross for the NHS and are associated with service cuts. …

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