Thursday, 5 September 2013

Lewisham Hospital & PFI the killer Question from John Hamilton People Before Profit Fighting to Oppose ALL NHS privatisation

Dear Mr Flaherty,
> Could you put this question on my behalf please.
> To Sir Steve Bullock, Mayor of Lewisham
> The Future of Lewisham Hospital
> Please accept my congratulation on the role of the Council in last month's 
successful legal challenge to the Secretary of State's plans to downgrade 
Lewisham Hospital's range of services.
> As we are all aware, this was just one of five areas which the TSA, Matthew 
Kershaw, put forward in his bid to achieve solvency for the indebted Queen 
Elizabeth Hospital in Woolwich and the Princess Royal University Hospital in 
> The TSA recommended that Lewisham and Greenwich merge to become a foundation 
trust, and promised that the taxpayers would contribute £25.1million a year to 
help pay the former South London Healthcare Trusts PFI bills.
> Are you able to tell me how much of the £25.1m will be allocated to the QEH 
and whether it will rise, year on year, as the PFI repayments rise?
> According to the Treasury figures the capital costs of building the QEH were 
> Total payments due over the 30 years of the contract are a staggering £1033m.
> The amount due in this financial year 2013-14 alone is £35m and this rises 
year on year until a final payment of £61m in the year 2029-30.
> Do you think that healthcare in Lewisham, and in particular the full range of 
services currently on offer at Lewisham Hospital, will come under renewed threat 
of cuts and closures in the years to come as a result of the huge payments due 
to the PFI companies: Barclays, Innisfree and others?
> Will this Council urge both the government and the Labour Party to consider 
bringing forward legislation to annul this contract which has seen the banks 
already pocket a profit of 220% on their capital outlay?
> Will you do what you can as an important public office holder to persuade 
members of your own party such as Ed Milliband and Ed Balls that Gordon Brown's 
PFI mistakes should be denounced so that the Labour Party can enter the next 
election with a programme that can restore the NHS to what it was in 1997 rather 
than one which will continue its dismemberment and privatisation?
> I am attaching the Treasury Committee report into PFI printed on 18th July 
2011? The second paragraph of the Summary states:
> /Private finance has always been more expensive than government borrowing, but 
since the
> financial crisis the difference between the costs has widened significantly. 
The cost of
> capital for a typical PFI project is currently over 8%—double the long term 
government gilt
> rate of approximately 4%. The difference in finance costs means that PFI 
projects are
> significantly more expensive to fund over the life of a project. This 
represents a significant
> cost to taxpayers./
> Thank you,
> John Hamilton
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