Huppert warns government must step in to bail out Hinchingbrooke


YQ5J9852.jpgMP Julian Huppert is fighting to make sure money is not drained from health services across the county to bail out Hinchingbrooke Hospital which is facing a multi-million debt.

Julian has called on Health Minister, Jeremy Hunt to support the bid the hospital has made for £9.6 million.

He told Mr Hunt in a letter that Cambridgeshire and Peterborough is one of the lowest funded health authorities in the country and its residents should not have to cover the deficit caused by historic errors in the management of Hinchingbrooke Hospital.

 

It ran up a deficit of £40 million after an expensive PFI scheme under Labour, and was then put out to tender by the last government, a £1 billion contract that is still the biggest privatisation in the history of the NHS.

 

“Hinchingbrooke is having to make significantly bigger savings than other hospitals across the UK because of the bungled PFI and the debt accumulated under Labour,” said Julian. “The PFI was supposed to save the hospital’s financial position - but it caused it to deteriorate.   

 

“We urgently needed to ensure that Hinchingbrooke Hospital can continue to provide care for people and that money is not withdrawn from other NHS services around Cambridge and Peterborough to do so.

"According to the contract, Circle stands to lose £5 million, but we will have to cover the rest. This was a national decision, and the money should come nationally, not from us. I don't want any of the money to be used to bail our Circle itself; it will have to accept its loss."

The last government insisted on putting the hospital out to tender despite union warnings that it was a “dangerous experiment”. By the time they left office the following year every NHS bid had been rejected, leaving three privately led bids.

Within hours of Circle announcing it was pulling out of the contract, Julian called on the government to take immediate action to secure the future of the hospital by bringing it back into the NHS.

He launched a petition in an attempt to put the hospital on a stronger footing and safeguard its future.

Julian added: “This failed Labour initiative has left healthcare at Hinchingbrooke Hospital in a fragile state with the danger that other health services across the county will suffer as a result.

“We have one of the lowest funded health services in the country with no room for manoeuvre. We cannot absorb this deficit without it having serious implications for our health care across the board.

“The government has to step in here to bail out Labour’s mess so that we can put Hinchingbrooke back on a secure footing. I want to see the hospital run by the NHS, the people who best understand it.”

 


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