Barking and Dagenham health trust says it can pay for hospital

Barking and Dagenham’s hospital trust has denied a government claim it is struggling to pay for the privately funded building of Queen’s Hospital.

Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust (BHRUT) has been named as one of 22 with private finance initiative (PFI) schemes that have become “unaffordable”.

In 2006, Queen’s Hospital, Romford, was built under a PFI at a cost of �261million.

Catalyst Healthcare (Romford) Ltd built the hospital and will maintain it until 2039.

The health trust pays 12 per cent of its turnover on the building.

It also pays interest accounting for 4.9 per cent of its overall revenue expenses.

Since February, a team from the Treasury has been working with BHRUT to analyse its PFI and see how savings can be made.

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The trust, however, says it has identified savings of more than five per cent of its annual PFI costs.

BHRUT finance director David Wragg said: “I am really pleased that our experience at Queen’s Hospital in Romford could help over a billion pounds to be reinvested in patient care and other public services [nationally].

“Effective contract management and excellent working relations with our PFI partners have helped us identify over five per cent savings on our PFI costs over the last year. We hope this new guidance will support other NHS organisations as well as schools and other public projects get best value from their contracts and resources.”