MP speaks out against huge PFI bill for hospital

SPEAKING OUT Penny Mordaunt
SPEAKING OUT Penny Mordaunt

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PENNY Mordaunt has added her voice to calls for Queen Alexandra Hospital to renegotiate the deal that is costing it millions of pounds every year.

The MP for Portsmouth North was responding to the claim by health secretary Andrew Lansley that Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust was among 22 authorities that contacted him to say their Private Finance Initiatives (PFI) have become too expensive.

Chief executive of the trust, Ursula Ward, has denied Portsmouth’s health authority ever made formal contact with the government about its PFI, but Ms Mordaunt said the current bill – which costs the hospital £44m every year – needs to become less expensive.

She said: ‘HM Treasury has put in place a dedicated team to help with PFI contract renegotiation, and I have urged the QA to take up this offer.

‘I am confident that the QA’s leadership recognises the opportunity at hand, and as all the money saved will go to the hospital there is no reason not to do everything possible to get a better deal.

‘Furthermore, the demands of the QA’s PFI contract do stress how important it is for the hospital to retain its competencies, in vascular surgery, for example. If it loses super hospital status it will be financially compromised.’