Intended for healthcare professionals

Letters PFI causing financial problems

NHS cuts and PFI

BMJ 2011; 343 doi: (Published 18 October 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d6681
  1. Mark Hellowell, lecturer1
  1. 1Global Public Health Unit, School of Social and Political Science, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh EH8 9LD, UK
  1. mark.hellowell{at}

Lansley suggests that the private finance initiative (PFI) is the main cause of financial problems among 22 NHS trusts, which are “on the brink of collapse.”1 The media have largely reflected the line that Lansley is faced with the task of cleaning up Labour’s “mess,” and that any hospital closures he sanctions can be blamed on them.

This account is misleading. The destabilising influence of PFI within the context of payment …

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