NHS debt is bigger than bailout sought by Cyprus, warns healthcare groupReported by Metro.co.uk on Tuesday, 26 June 2012 (on June 26, 2012)
*Toxic debt in the NHS is greater than the £1billion bailout sought by Cyprus, a healthcare campaign group has warned.*
Andrew Lansley said the problem was down to the previous government (Picture: AP)
The health service is billions of pounds in debt which has been ‘hidden to the public by NHS managers’, Health Emergency said.
About £1billion was hidden in London hospitals and up to £20billion nationally, the group claimed.
‘We are staring down the barrel of the worst financial crisis in the 65-year history of the NHS,’ Health Emergency spokesman Geoff Martin said.
‘The financial contagion in the NHS is spreading out of London and is set to rip through the UK like wildfire.’
His comments came as it was revealed that 21 more NHS trusts could be put on ‘special measures’, which would see teams of trouble-shooters sent in to control their spending.
South London Healthcare NHS Trust, which runs three hospitals, has already been earmarked to be put on the measures after running up deficits of more than £150million over the past three years.
Health secretary Andrew Lansley blamed the problem on expensive private finance initiative contracts promoted by the previous government to keep spending off the books.
But shadow health secretary Andy Burnham said the South London Healthcare PFI deal was negotiated by John Major’s government.
‘This particular problem child has at least joint parenthood,’ he said.
NHS Confederation deputy chief executive David Stout said: ‘NHS leaders have made it clear that short- term fixes for struggling trusts are no longer possible.’
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