Health secretary promises loans to hospitals in trouble

BMJ 2011; 343 doi: (Published 27 October 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d7000
  1. Nigel Hawkes
  1. 1London

The health secretary has undertaken to provide support to hospitals crippled by debt, providing they meet a set of conditions.

Denying this was a backroom deal, a bailout, or a “sticking plaster solution,” Andrew Lansley said that the problem had been ignored by Labour for a decade. Speaking at a conference organised by the right leaning think tank Reform on 26 October, he said: “We need to be honest about the problems—burdensome debts and onerous private finance initiative payments—and transparent about how we go about fixing them.” He promised one-off loans to help recapitalise hospital trusts “where they face difficulties through no fault of their own.”

To qualify for the loans, a hospital’s problem must be exceptional and long standing, and it must show there is a clear plan to manage resources in future. Services must be of high quality and …

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