Just a reminder, in case one is needed, about how the government, its quango Monitor (now renamed NHS Improvement) and the management consultancy company EY have worked hand in glove to put PFI investors’ interests above the healthcare needs of the people of Calderdale and Huddersfield.
Here’s how the story has unfolded over the last 4 years.
In 2014, Calderdale and Huddersfield hospitals Trust’s finances fell into “deficit”, as a result of impossible underfunding combined with a £20m+ transfer over 2 years of Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust funding to Calderdale Council to prop up its cash-starved adult social care services, via the Better Care Fund.
This fund was introduced in 2014 to allow local authorities and NHS clinical commissioning groups to pool budgets and jointly commission social care services that would take pressure off hospitals. But it did not bring any new money. Instead it required Clinical Commissioning Groups to redeploy money from supposedly ringfenced NHS funding. NHS England 2013 Guidance said this meant:
‘hospital emergency activity will have to reduce by 15%’
This is what happened next. Continue reading
In 2014, UCV Plain Speaker reported that equity in the Calderdale Royal Hospital (CRH), which is notorious as one of the most costly and least accountable PFI schemes in the NHS, had changed hands 10 times, and that according to the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee, PFI equity sales are
“the unacceptable face of capitalism.”
On 19th January 2016, a big chunk of the Calderdale Royal Hospital PFI equity changed hands again, for an undisclosed amount that you can be sure generated a tidy profit for the seller. Continue reading
At the 21 October Joint Health Scrutiny Committee meeting, Councillors tried to find out what the NHS competition enforcer, Monitor, actually meant by stating that the hospitals Trust needs to:
“maximise the value of the Calderdale Royal Hospital (CRH) PFI contract”.
As a result of the government trying to force hospitals into making massive “efficiency” cuts, that were impossible to carry out because this would have endangered patient safety, Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust (CHFT) is one of scores of Trusts across the country that are now in deficit and under Monitor’s special measures.
Calderdale Councillor Martin Burton asked how the Trust could maximise the value of the CRH PFI contract. It was like trying to get blood from a stone. Continue reading
The Calderdale and Kirklees Joint Health Scrutiny Committee (JHSC) met on Wednesday 21 October, to find out what’s happening with the proposed hospital cuts and changes that are known as Right Care Right Time Right Place.
The meeting was like falling down Alice in Wonderland’s rabbit hole and arriving in time for the Lobster quadrille.
Will you, won’t you, will you, won’t you, will you consult the public?
The recurring theme at the JHSC was: Will you, won’t you, will you, won’t you, will you join the Public Consultation dance?
“Facilities management” at Calderdale Royal Hospital is part of the Private Finance Initiative contract. This means that the hospitals Trust has to use the PFI Facilities Management company for all the buildings and grounds maintenance.
The Trust also has to pay the PFI non-clinical services company for services such as cleaning, catering, laundry and linen, car parking, security, switchboard services and portering.
Until July this year, Lendlease Facilities Management (aka Vita Lendlease) held the CRH PFI Facilities Management Contract. But then Cofely-GDF Suez bought Lendlease Facilities Management. (Update: IN 2016, Cofely-GDF Suez became Engie.)
The hospitals Trust had no say over this buy-out, or which company holds the CRH PFI contract for facilities management (FM).
Equity in the Calderdale Royal Hospital (CRH), which is notorious as one of the most costly and least accountable PFI schemes in the NHS, has changed hands 10 times.
According to the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee, PFI equity sales are,
“the unacceptable face of capitalism.”
The 10 CRH equity sales make it hard to know who actually owns the debt that Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust has still to pay off, or the extent of equity holders’ profits, or what tax the equity holders paid – if any.
But the European Services Strategy Unit has managed to identify the companies involved in the equity sales. Continue reading
The costs of repaying the PFI debt and of paying for the expensive PFI hospital maintenance and service contracts are one of the causes of the Calderdale and Huddersfield hospital Trust’s finance problems.
PFI costs, funding shortage and Strategic Review of future of NHS and social care
Shortage of funding is behind the proposed closure of Calderdale A&E and at least 100 acute hospital beds, and their replacement by a new system of care in the community that is based on an American private health care system used by a company called Kaiser Permanente.