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30 percent of UK hospital's spending pays private finance supplier

NHS will ultimately pay more than £50 billion for buildings worth £11 billion.

30 percent of UK hospital's spending pays private finance supplierLEEDS, ENGLAND: Leeds Teaching Hospitals has released data showing that 30 percent of its supplier budget goes to two construction firms, including a deal lasting until 2041.

One of the first trusts to publish monthly spending data online has revealed it is paying around £3m each month to its private finance initiative (PFI) partner.

The online accounts for Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS trust, one of England's largest, shows that its biggest supplier was its Private Finance Initiative supplier Catalyst Healthcare Leeds. In October, the firm received £3.12m in payments due on the £220m Bexley Wing cancer centre at St James's, opened in 2008 to treat patients from across Yorkshire and the Humber (full data).

Similar spending information released by the trust for May to September shows it paid Catalyst between £2.96m and £3.6m in each of those months.

Use of Private Finance Initiative in the National Health Service, which expanded hugely under the last government, has become controversial as the amounts due to be repaid become clear. In August, the Department of Health said that NHS organisations will eventually pay more than £50bn for buildings worth just £11bn, with maintenance charges adding a further £15bn.

According to HM Treasury's annual list of PFI projects (link), Leeds Teaching Hospitals will not complete payments for the Bexley centre until 2041, by which time the Treasury estimates it will have paid around £1.24bn for a facility worth less than a fifth of that.

For the full story, please click here.

Posted: November 24, 2010

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