Monday, 22 April 2013

PFI. Is this the worst Labour Financial cock up for Tax Payers Ever? Why PFI must be banned.

 Thursday 18 April 2013 12:00
A CONTRACT which costs the NHS £60 million a year has once again come under fire after it emerged that health bosses have only been able to impose fines of less than £30 per day when a PFI firm’s blunders left operating theatres out of action.
Patients saw operations cancelled last year when flies were found in the sterile operating suites and Consort, the company that built and runs the ERI on behalf of NHS Lothian and has responsibility for the building’s maintenance, was blamed.
The PFI firm was told penalties for causing the unavailability of the theatres last summer would be imposed as the health board considered the infestation, believed to have been caused when a pigeon accessed internal hospital areas and died, to be avoidable and prolonged.
But it then emerged that under the terms of the PFI contract, which was agreed in 1998 and is widely viewed as one of the most disastrous agreements of its kind ever signed, Consort would be liable to pay just £28.24 per day when it caused an operating theatre to close for four hours or more.
The revelations come after hundreds of emails between NHS Lothian, Consort and its partner Balfour Beatty around the issue of pest control at the Royal Infirmary were revealed for the first time.
Gordon Beurskens, who obtained the documents under Environmental Information Regulation laws on behalf of the Action to Save St John’s Hospital Party, said: “£28 is a pathetic figure. It won’t buy much theatre time from Consort, or the private sector where delayed patients might end up. If PFI was properly scrutinised, many of these absurd deals wouldn’t have been signed in the first place.”
NHS Lothian is now taking other measures to recoup cash by attempting to reduce the PFI firm’s rating of 98.668 per cent, which it awarded itself in November, meaning performance-related payments would fall.
The rating could be slashed by more than 10 per cent, which would mean NHS Lothian would be paid back up to £40,000, while a further £188,000 could be held and retained if the ongoing situation with flies is not resolved.
NHS Lothian has said the rating should be cut as netting and mesh put up to detract birds covered up faults in the ERI’s construction which allowed them to access internal areas. It has also said no significant repair work took place until November – five months after the original incident – and that roofing above operating theatres was not watertight.
It is understood that NHS Lothian expects to recoup a significant sum – but almost a year after two theatres were closed for a combined 11 days, a deal has not yet been hammered out.
Theatres were also shut in August and November after isolated flies were found in theatres, causing an infection risk and requiring deep cleans to be carried out.
Scottish Conservative health spokesman Jackson Carlaw said: “The fact operations had to be cancelled because of a pigeon infestation is humiliating enough. Now Consort’s refusal to take any kind of credible blame for the incident, and the toothlessness of the contract meaning the health board isn’t holding any aces, is making that even more stark.”
Flies and pigeons accessing the ERI are only the latest scandal to hit Consort.
A year ago, a patient was operated on by torchlight after the firm cut power to an operating theatre and previous issues have emerged with hospital cleanliness, staff criminal background checks and alarm systems. NHS Lothian bosses have privately expressed exasperation with their PFI partners, who they are tied to under a long-term deal that will not see the health board automatically take ownership of the hospital once it expires. By 2028, NHS Lothian will have handed over £1.26 billion.
But George Curley, director of operations in facilities, said working relationships had improved over the past 12 months and insisted NHS Lothian is currently happy with Consort’s performance.
He said: “This is a self-monitoring contract and Consort monitor their performance, however this is reinforced by our own internal checks. In this specific instance we felt that their application of the contract did not reflect our position on the matter.
“We are close to reaching an agreement with Consort around this issue. NHS Lothian believes this to be a fair and reasonable offer.”
No-one from Consort was available to comment.
List of unwelcome guests
In the e-mails, a series of concerning pest discoveries at the ERI are revealed.
As recently as February, a fly was found in a windowless room near operating theatres, causing a senior critical care boss to express serious concerns and ask why photographic evidence that work had been carried out had not been provided.
Pupae were found in a sterile storage room in December after ceiling screening was found not intact. Other incidents include “thousands” of flies seen above an assessment unit in August, beetles on a theatre windowsill and pigeons heard in a roof void. Some have blamed flies on windows left open,
but others maintain building fabric is to blame.

Please Sign the NUMBER 10 petition calling for a ban on. www.peoplebeforeprofit.org.uk

You can folow Ray on twitter@Raywoolford
 
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Redundant Retoric

1:46 PM on 19/04/2013
Who owns the ERI?
 
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Free2B

9:12 AM on 19/04/2013
Its a weird world of banking... did you know these 'PFI' deals involving 'cash' almost certainly used no money?

Research how 'money' is created, and you'll find the contract signed became a 'bank asset' which is then treated as cash... in effect 'we' - as signed for on our behalf, created the money...

This document (with wet signature) will have been bundled and sold on.. traded..

It was thought by many at the time that these 'PFI' and 'PPI' deals used investors cash.. well yes some... but there was always the feeling things were a bit stinky.. but people believe banking was our piggy bank experience - someone has to put some in to get some out. Deposits would have been created on the basis of the loan agreement in a bankers pen trick... and i have no doubt the trams would be the same... after all, who has the £1b to lend us?

No money moved from one account to another... yet we - the people of edinburgh - have years to pay back and not even ownership at the end... it was a monumental rip-off... but who cares.. x-factor will be on soon... move along

(http://www.positivemoney.org/videos/ for info on how banks create money they dont have)
 
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Pan Roentgen

8:54 AM on 19/04/2013
Joe Owens was interviews on TV during an investigation into PFI. He was asked what Lothian Health should do, if, when the lease is renegociated that Consort doubles.triples or quadruples the current "rent" of £2.25 million/month(yes it is THAT much).

"Oh we would simply walk away from the deal" !!!!!

What ???? just walk away from NRIE ????
Yet, that is what he said, and the video still exists Joe !!!!
 
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Sausageupaclose

8:47 PM on 18/04/2013
Blame the clowns that negotiated the contracts, name and shame!
 
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Artemis

8:46 PM on 18/04/2013
UNISON did everything in its power to campaign against the PFI of the RIE and this newspaper refused to support the campaign. UNISON made it very clear what the outcome would be, and nobody wanted to know.
 
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Arkletten

6:53 PM on 18/04/2013
http://www.nhslothian.scot.nhs.uk/OurOrganisation/KeyDocuments/Royal%20Infirmary%20of%20Edinburgh%20PFI%20Agreements/NRIE_Business_Case_1997.pdf See page 40.

The ERI PFI arrangements were first entered into in 1995 when Ian Lang, then later in 1995, Michael Forsyth, were in the post of Secretary of State for Scotland.

When Tony Blair got in in 1998 and Donal Dewar was Scottish Secretary, Labour just rubber stamped the Tory deal.
 
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gus1940

6:29 PM on 18/04/2013
Surely once we win Independence after a YES vote in 9/14 and The Independent Scottish Government like all other independent countries will have normal borrowing powers legislation can be passed for compulsory buyouts and termination of not only The ERI PFI disaster but all the other PFI fiascos foisted on us by Labour and the Tories.

The PFI holders will be made an offer they cannot refuse in each instance and we shall not be held to ransom by these parasites..
 
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Arkletten

6:04 PM on 18/04/2013
Aren't Balfour Beatty the ones the current SNP- Labour coalition intend to give the contract to build the new Porty High school? If they get the private bill through?
 
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Arkletten

5:50 PM on 18/04/2013
As I recollect it, the PFI discussions and deal were entered into around 1996. Before we even had a Scottish Parliament (or even a Labour government in London). I seem to recollect Winstanley, the former NHS Lothian high heid yin, saying he regretted signing the deal, but that it was impressed on him at tge time that it 'was the only deal in town' so it was either that, or nothing.
 
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The Genuine Mario Antionette

3:04 PM on 18/04/2013
Consort is an off-shoot of Balfour Beatty & Haden Building Management. Firms should be very wary of entering into any contracts with them. Once they get a contract signed, they save even more money by skimping on maintenance & then going cap in hand to the client seeking more money to rectify the "problem" which should have been covered by proper maintenance in the first place. After all, that's what a client pays for in such maintenance contracts. This shower of cowboys cheat the client & the public by not spending the money they receive for maintenance. They divert the income from these contracts to fund other less lucrative projects. They also get commission from any further work the client instructs them to do - & the contract usually stipulates that the client must give them the first opportunity to do such work. The client can't put this work out to tender, they have to go to Balfour Beatty, Haden, Consort first & if they can't do the work themselves, THEY put it out to tender & get commission from the job for doing nothing. They've got everything sewn up - & the client & the public meet all the costs.
 
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Infirmary drone

2:55 PM on 18/04/2013
If SFT is so good why doesn't the nhs in the west of Scotland use it?
 
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Norway has 600billion oil fund

2:55 PM on 18/04/2013
TIE which was set up by Labour negotiated the Trams contract and no SNP person was on the board of TIE unlike Tories, Lib Dems and Labour..

The only hospitals built using PFI / PPP were/ are Tory and Labour ones thus leaving local NHS Boards and Local Council having to pay out a fortune in never never instalments over the next 25 years.

PFI was a Westminster scam to get borrowing off the UK balance sheet.
 
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Infirmary drone

2:53 PM on 18/04/2013
Correct. Unlike Glasgow where everything NHS is public funded...
 
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Infirmary drone

2:52 PM on 18/04/2013
This is a snippet from the article :

Royal Infirmary chief executive Joe Owens admitted last night for the first time that the developers stood to make a huge profit on the sale of houses.

Mr Owens also agreed there would be fewer nurses and fewer beds at the new infirmary

He said: "All manning levels have been worked out in detail and have been agreed by the health board, the Scottish Office and the Treasury.

"Nurses who are not fully qualified will be cheaper. They will do tasks nurses currently do but we will be asking the fully-qualified nurses to do complex tasks more appropriate to degree-qualified people.

"Numbers of beds were backed by clinicians in the hospital and are not a management decision."

Paul Brady, director of finance in the NHS in Scotland, said: "This PFI is good business practice. We are getting best value. They are putting money up front and taking the business risks of building the hospital.

"I cannot see any linkage between clinical budgets and this deal. The trust will set them."
 
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Infirmary drone

2:51 PM on 18/04/2013
Pam your completely correct , Joe Owens should be brought to account for this shambolic deal. Wonder what envelopes where involved ?....
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