Sussex hospital trust has £100million to pay in PFI payments

A Sussex hospital trust still has £100million to pay in PFI payments for a Children’s Hospital that cost £36million to build.

The Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital (RACH) was built under the 2004 Children’s Ark PFI project to finance, construct, operate and maintain the facility over 30 years.

Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust has denied that the PFI payments of around £4million a year contributed to the trust entering financial special measures in August 2016.

What are Private Finance Initiatives (PFIs)?

View an interactive version of our investigation into PFI schemes here.

The latest figures from HM Treasury show the estimated total cost of PFI payments for the project will reach £176million.

A new ‘3Ts’ project to redevelop much of the remaining hospital at a cost of £485million is to be financed without the use of a PFI.

A spokesman for the hospital trust said patient care was its ‘highest priority’ and the basis for all decision making.

He said: “We opened the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital (RACH) in 2007. It was rated “outstanding” by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in 2016.

“The Children’s Hospital PFI contract did not contribute to the Trust entering financial special measures in August 2016.

“The Trust came out of financial special measures in July 2018 thanks to the concerted efforts of staff and comprehensive financial improvement programme.

“We considered all available financial models when we developed the business case for the 3Ts Redevelopment of the Royal Sussex County Hospital.

“As it was available at the time, funding the project from central government offered best value for money.”

Read more from our PFI investigation here: How a PFI legacy is costing a Sussex NHS Trust millions