Romford hospital unable to pay for PFI even with ‘most stringent targets’, NHS boss says

Romford’s debt-laden Queen’s Hospital would not be able to pay its huge debts even if it was given the most stringent targets, an NHS boss said.

Ruth Carnall, the chief executive of NHS London, gave a fresh insight into the financial woes experienced by the Rom Valley Way hospital after it was confirmed the trust that looks after it had gone almost �50million into the red this year.

It was built under a much-criticised mortgage style Private Finance Initiative (PFI).

The hospital is due to receive extra financial help from central government to pay for the privately-funded development unveiled in 2006.

Speaking at City Hall, Ms Carnall said “even the most stringent and ambitious targets” would not help Queen’s “meet the payment due”.

She added: “So the secretary of state has accepted there should be financial support provided. But it’s not sufficient to deliver a viable solution in its own right, so it needs to be seen as part of a whole package.”

Ms Carnall made the comments about Queen’s during a question and answer session with London Assembly members last week.

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Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust said its Romford hospital was one of seven which had been identified to receive support towards its PFI costs.

The hospital trust acknowledged its overall deficit had reached almost �50m in March but hopes to reduce it to less than �40m this financial year with the government’s support.

David Gilburt, trust director of finance, said: “The trust is one of seven identified by the Department of Health to receive additional support towards its PFI costs.

“This financial support has not yet been released, but is believed to be between �16m and �17m per annum.

“At the end of March 2012 this trust recorded a deficit of �49.9m. For 2012/13 we aim to deliver a reduced deficit of �40m.

“The financial support from the Department of Health would reduce this forecast deficit.”