Gareth Johnson MP welcomes Government confirmation of support for hospitals struggling under PFI

Date: Mon 6th February 2012

This week the Department for Health has announced that it estimates that over the next 25 years £1.5 billion be paid to hospitals such as Darent Valley that were in receipt of Private Finance Initiatives.  This will help ensure that the Trusts remain sustainable in the future, despite their PFI debts.
“Private Finance Initiatives have had a negative impact on a number of hospitals including Darent Valley in Dartford.” Said Gareth Johnson MP for Dartford.  “All PFI’s were signed under the Labour Government and have since had a negative and restrictive financial impact on the hospitals that received them.”
Darent Valley Hospital was built by using one of the first PFI agreements in the country. These agreements enable private companies to fund projects in the public sector for future returns for those companies. Unfortunately the terms of the PFI agreement that Darent Valley Hospital is reliant on are widely seen as being very restrictive. It allows for the private companies to receive 17% of turnover compared with the more common 15%.
“ This is an issue I have been working on since I was elected. I have raised this issue with the Department for Health a number of times, both in Parliament and in a private meeting with Health Secretary Andrew Lansley MP” said Gareth.  “I am therefore extremely pleased that they have responded to concerns and will support measures to assist Darent Valley that has been saddled with this. This issue has been swept under the carpet for over ten years so I am glad that action is now being taken to improve the situation for Darent Valley.”