MP Steve Barclay says debts from two health trusts will “impact on local healthcare services for years to come.”
15:50 12 February 2013
NORTH East Cambs MP Steve Barclay says the “toxic legacy of debt” from two Cambridgeshire health trusts will impact on local healthcare services for years to come.
Mr Barclay is a member of the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee, which has just published is findings after a hearing into the Hinchingbrooke NHS Trust and Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
He says the committee discovered that “mismanagement across the board has led to spiralling, unsustainable costs,” and both Trusts will have to make unprecedented levels of savings to become viable.
The Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals NHS Trust, which built the privately financed Peterborugh City Hospital, is currently receiving £1m a week in taxpayer support to keep it afloat, and Circle Healthcare, the franchisee of Hinchingbrooke Hospital at Huntingdon, has not achieved its expected savings.
Separate decisions were made to build the new hospital and award Circle the franchise at Huntingdon, just 24 miles away. Peterborough is now considering closing four state of the art operating theatres, because Hinchingbrooke is increasing its operating work.
Mr Barclay said: “No senior official at the Department of Health or at the East of England Strategic Health Authority has faced any disciplinary action. Why?
“The East of England Strategic Health Authority is tasked with protecting both patients and taxpayers by ensuring that more specialist services are delivered in the community and controlling the costs of healthcare provision.
“It begs the question, what is its Chief Executive, Sir Neil Makay, paid £200,000 a year for, given this shameful mess?
The healthcare regulator Monitor had warned that the private finance initiative costs could send the Peterborough and Stamford Trust into financial meltdown, added Mr Barclay.
“None of the health officials involved appear to have looked at the overall picture,” he said. “The report’s findings now need urgent action from the Department of Health to demonstrate that lessons have been learned.”