People vs Barts Health PFI campaigners on the debt crisis crippling the East London trust

The PFI-funded Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, East London. Barts Health NHS Trust will have to pay over £7bn in construction and maintenance charges over the next 30 years.
The PFI-funded Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, East London. Barts Health NHS Trust will have to pay over £7bn in construction and maintenance charges over the next 30 years. Credit: Patrick Mackie / The Geograph

Barts Health, the largest NHS Trust in the country, is in the middle of a deepening crisis.

On February 4th it reported that its deficit had swollen to £93 million, more than double the figure quoted just seven months earlier.

Then, in an unexpected twist, the Chief Executive Peter Morris announced his resignation last week after eight years at the helm of the troubled East London trust.

The financial woes of Barts have been a disaster waiting to happen ever since the trust signed up to a £1.1 billion scheme for the redevelopment of the Royal London hospital in 2006.

By the time the state-of-the-art facility in Whitechapel opened its doors six years later the project had left behind a trail of toxic debt.

Continue reading People vs Barts Health PFI campaigners on the debt crisis crippling the East London trust

PFI activism: 8 Twitter accounts on the campaign frontline

Looking for some action? Here are some of the key activists to follow to keep a close eye on PFI schemes.

PFI protest. Source: Flickr
PFI protest. Source: Flickr

1. Alyson Pollack @AlysonPollack is an academic, public health doctor and leading authority on PFI. She supports the NHS Reinstatement Bill 2015 which aims to return the NHS to its founders’ vision of an accountable public service.

Continue reading PFI activism: 8 Twitter accounts on the campaign frontline

Meet the investment firms that own your PFI-funded public schools and hospitals

Jersey: PFI heaven
The Channel Islands Connection: some of the largest investment firms providing funds for PFI schemes have found refuge in the tax havens of Jersey and Guernsey

 

The use of Private Finance Initiative for the provision of large-scale projects has often brought public bodies on the verge of bankruptcy.

But the public sector’s losses must have been someone else’s gain naturally.

Private equity firms, in particular, invited to provide funds and become stakeholders in the projects, have largely profited from their involvement in PFI.

Continue reading Meet the investment firms that own your PFI-funded public schools and hospitals

Interview with Ashley Seager of IF: “Future generations will pick up the bill for PFI”

A former Economics correspondent for The Guardian, Ashley Seager is the co-founder of Intergenerational Foundation, an independent charity that protects the rights of younger people in policy-making. 

 Drawing on research by Professor David Parker, the UK Government’s official historian on privatisation, Seager tells us why, in his view, PFI is building up an unsustainable debt for future generations.