Finding alternative solutions to PFI for the future

The election has been and gone, and it seems to be as good a time as any to re-gather, re-group and collect our thoughts on PFI and what changes can be made for the future.

With this in mind, we asked for your ideas – wild, outlandish, or perfectly sensible – on alternatives to PFI.

Green party activist Andrew Durling had a couple of bright ideas.

He suggested creating energy-efficient hospitals with funds from quantitative easing.
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An interview with PFI expert Dr Lucy Reynolds

We spoke to Dr Lucy Reynolds, research fellow in public health at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, as well as a dedicated and well-regarded PFI activist.

We first heard her speak at the PFI walking tour of Parliament, which we live blogged here.

Dr Lucy Reynolds speaking at PFI tour of Parliament
Dr Lucy Reynolds speaking at PFI tour of Parliament (Photo PFEye)

She believes that our NHS is being privatised and that there has been a “complete failure of democracy.”

In this audio interview, we asked her what the threats are to the NHS, and what positive steps we can take.

Continue reading An interview with PFI expert Dr Lucy Reynolds

Snapshot of the figures and facts behind PFI

The world of PFI can be quite data-heavy, with figures thrown about by politicians and activists alike.

In the spirit of simplicity, we’ve created a visual chart with some of the key figures behind PFI.

Click on the image or this link to view the complete infographic.

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We mainly got these facts from Drop NHS Debt and government figures. Here is the list of other sources:

FT: The hospital which bought out its PFI contract.
New Statesman: Trusts will make repayments of £2bn in 2015
The Independent: Barts NHS Trust in £93m debt.
The Guardian: up to 300 new PFI schools under Michael Gove

Election promises: what are the politicians saying about PFI?

In the run-up to the election and with the release of the manifestos, let’s have a look at which parties are pledging PFI change, and which have been side-stepping the issue.

Conservative For the party who famously introduced PFI in their 1992 Autumn statement, the Conservatives have been rather quiet.

David Cameron, The Open University, Flickr
David Cameron, The Open University, Flickr

In David Cameron’s interview with Evan Davis on 15th April, the BBC Newsnight presenter pressed him on social issues such as profiteering property developers and PFI.

While David Cameron reportedly made all the right sounds, “totally offensive”, “infuriating”, “maddening,” he did not make any specific promises on PFI – a missed opportunity.

There are no grand plans to combat unruly PFI contracts in the Conservative manifestoIn terms of the NHS at least, Chancellor George Osborne is promising to put an extra £2bn into frontline health services across the UK.

Continue reading Election promises: what are the politicians saying about PFI?

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