Which hospitals are spending more of their budget on PFI?

The Peterborough City Hospital was built under a Private Finance Initiative contract. Over the course of the 33-year scheme, the Trust is expected to pay back £2bn in charges.
The Peterborough City Hospital was built under a Private Finance Initiative contract. Over the course of the 33-year scheme, the Trust is expected to pay back £2bn in charges. Credit: Davecrosby uk / Wikimedia Commons

Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals is the NHS Trust that spent the highest percentage (18%) of its annual income on Private Finance Initiative (PFI) charges last year.

The trust has found itself in a dire financial situation in recent times.

It has been left struggling with a £37 million annual deficit after using PFI to build the new Peterborough Hospital.

The 611-bed facility opened in November 2010 at an initial cost of £289 million. However, by the end of the 33-year life of the scheme, its total cost is expected to rise to £2bn.

As a National Audit Office (NAO) report noted, “the trust board had failed to recognise that the scheme would place considerable strains on the trust’s finances for many years to come”.

Continue reading Which hospitals are spending more of their budget on PFI?

Beyond Britain: how do other countries use PFI?

The 8-mile long Confederation Bridge linking New Brunswick, Canada with Prince Edward Island. Opened in 1997, it was the first Canadian public facility to be built with a Private Finance Initiative contract.
The 8-mile long Confederation Bridge linking New Brunswick, Canada with Prince Edward Island. Opened in 1997, it was the first Canadian public facility to be built with a Private Finance Initiative contract. Credit: Chensiyuan / Wikimedia Commons

First seen in Britain in the early 1990s, Private Finance Initiative has reached far beyond its natural boundaries over the years.

With projects active in France, Spain, Portugal, Japan, Nigeria among many others, we can safely say that few countries have resisted the lure of PFI.

Going by the names PPP or P3, it may not be referred to by the same term.

The underlying principle, however, is the same: infrastructure projects are financed, built and maintained by the private sector against annual payments from public authorities.

Here we give an overview of how three countries (France, Japan and Canada) have developed PFI policies.

Continue reading Beyond Britain: how do other countries use PFI?

The history of Private Finance Initiative in the UK – a timeline

Click on the image for an interactive version of the timeline
Click on the image for an interactive version of the timeline

 

Who introduced the Private Finance Initiative in the UK? What was the first public facility to be built under this funding model?

All these questions, and many others, are answered in a timeline that will guide you through the 23-year-long history of PFI in the UK.

Click here or on the image above to access the full interactive timeline with videos of speeches and original documents.

Alternatively, you can find the content of the timeline below in written form.

Continue reading The history of Private Finance Initiative in the UK – a timeline

Liveblog: Follow us on an open top bus tour of East London’s PFI

The People vs PFI team on the campaign bus
East London’s Barts Health, the largest NHS Trust in the country, is facing a terrible crisis.

Crippled by an ever-growing deficit, now estimated at £93m, it was put into special measures last month following a damning CQC report.

Local campaigning group People vs Barts PFI blames the 40-year Private Finance Initiative contract the Trust has signed for the construction and maintenance of the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel.

Aiming to raise awareness about the scale of the problem, today they are taking an open top bus round East London stopping by a series of PFI locations.

Click through this link or on the image to follow our live coverage:

 

PFI Liveblog

For more background on the crisis of Barts Health NHS Trust read our interview with local campaigners Helen Mercer and Mary Burnett:
https://pfeyeblog.wordpress.com/2015/02/25/people-vs-barts-health-pfi-campaigners-on-the-debt-crisis-crippling-the-east-london-trust/

Myatts Field North residents reveal dismal state of new PFI homes

The Myatts Field North estate in Lambeth, South London, before the regeneration process started in May 2012.
The Myatts Field North estate in Lambeth, South London, before the regeneration process started in May 2012. Photo by: Michael Keane / Flickr

Myatts Field North was meant to be one of London’s success stories as far as regeneration projects go. “An outdated housing estate” riddled with crime would be remodeled into a “more open, greener and welcoming environment”, Lambeth council put it in 2012.

The old blocks would be demolished to make way for 808 new residential units, while a further 172 existing houses would be refurbished to a modern standard.

All thanks to a £150m Private Finance Initiative (PFI) contract the Lambeth council had entered with a private consortium led by Regenter.

Two years into the construction programme, however, a rather different picture is emerging. Continue reading Myatts Field North residents reveal dismal state of new PFI homes

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

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.