Labour planned profit making NHS exports two years ago

Labour began selling NHS services overseas two years ago despite today condemning the Coalition’s plans to set up profit making hospitals abroad, official documents show.Labour planned profit making NHS exports two years agoThe labour party is facing accusations of hypocrisy after saying the Government”s decision to export NHS expertise is an example of David Cameron’s “rampant commercialisation”.

Andy Burnham, Labour’s shadow health secretary, called on the Prime Minister to “get his priorities right” and concentrate on the NHS at home, rather than chasing profit abroad.

However, it has now emerged that Gordon Brown’s government set up a profit-making arm called NHS Global to “maximise its international potential… and bring benefits back to the UK taxpayer”.

Its purpose was to “market valuable assets across the system overseas, ranging from innovative products and professional expertise to provision of NHS services and treatments”.

Anne Milton, the public health minister, accused Labour of “campaigning against its own policy”

“Andy Burnham has jumped on every passing bandwagon – now he is attacking the ability of hospital doctors to raise money for NHS patients,” she said. “It is clear that Labour will stop at nothing to score a political point, even if it means damaging patients.”

The Coalition plans to set up a new body called Healthcare UK to capitalise on the good name of the NHS, which was promoted all over the world during the Olympic opening ceremony.

It will encourage hospitals to set up profit-making branches abroad to raise funds for patients at home and raise the international profile of the health service.

Critics said the Government should be concentrating on the huge challenges facing the NHS at home, rather than abroad.

David Stout, deputy chief executive of the NHS Confederation, insisted the plan would not “divert attention away from local health services”.

It is “absolutely right” to charge for NHS services abroad and bring back the profit to help improve patient care in Britain, he said.

Mr Stout said the idea of setting up foreign branches of well-known hospitals, such as Great Ormond Street and the Royal Marsden, is a huge opportunity as long as services in the UK are not harmed.

He added: “I don’t think this is distorting what we offer UK citizens, this is about exploiting the brand internationally.”

He said any profits would be “marginal” in the scheme of the NHS’s £100 billion budget but the health service should do everything it can to “help UK Plc”.

Officials from the Department of Health and UK Trade and Industry will launch the joint scheme this autumn, which will aim to build links between hospitals wishing to expand and foreign governments which want access to British health services.

The proposal was reportedly inspired by hospitals in America, including Baltimore’s John Hopkins, opening similar branches abroad.

From: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/Labour-planned-profit-making-Brand-NHS-two-years-ago

Hospital PFI project went ahead despite warnings

A hospital now losing £44 million a year was allowed to go ahead with a private finance deal to build new premises despite the Government being warned that the project was unsustainable.Hospital PFI project went ahead despite warningsA report, commissioned by the hospital regulator, Monitor, reveals that strong concerns were raised that Peterborough Hospital would not have the money for the new buildings.

Despite the warning – to both the Treasury and the Department of Health – the go-ahead was given for the project, which is now costing the hospital trust £22 million a year to service.

Last year, Monitor found Peterborough to be in “significant breach” of the terms of its authorisation and warned that work on a turnaround plan for the hospital had “not progressed at the necessary pace”. In February, the Government was forced to establish a £1.5 billion bailout fund to help pay the debts created by prohibitively expensive PFI schemes, of which Peterborough was one.

Peterborough is judged at high risk of financial failure by Monitor and is likely to have to cut or reconfigure the services it provides and make staff redundant to balance its books.

In the report, from the accountants KPMG, into what went wrong at Peterborough, auditors conclude that while Monitor was aware of the risks of the project it was powerless to stop the Government from giving it approval.

It is embarrassing for Labour because, at the time of the approval, Andy Burnham was a Minister of State in the Department of Health. He is now shadow Health Secretary.

The report reproduces a letter sent by the then head of Monitor, Bill Boyes, to the hospital trust in 2007 and copied to officials in both the Treasury and the Department of Health, warning of the dangers of the project.

But because Monitor had no power to intervene, it went ahead and it was only in 2010, after the hospital had been built, that the true financial picture emerged.

It has now emerged that up to 30 NHS trusts could be forced to merge, devolve services into the community and make jobs cuts as part of a radical restructuring of hospital care – partly as a result of the cost of PFI.

The Department of Health said it considered 21 hospitals to be “clinically and financially unsustainable”.

Commenting on the report, a Department of Health source said: “This was a disastrous Labour PFI blunder. Labour was warned repeatedly by their own regulator that this PFI deal could bankrupt Peterborough Hospital but they pressed on regardless.”

A spokesman for Mr Burnham said he would not comment until he had seen the full published report.

From: http://www.independent.co.uk/hospital-pfi-project-went-ahead-despite-warnings

NHS is paying for Labour’s dodgy deals

The NHS faces huge costs because of flaws in Private Finance Initiative (PFI) contracts agreed by the previous administration.NHS is paying for Labour’s dodgy dealsYesterday afternoon, the Queen opened the South West Acute Hospital in Enniskillen. She will doubtless have been impressed: the facility, the first to be built in Northern Ireland for more than a decade, is a gleaming shrine to 21st century healthcare.

What may not have been mentioned, however, was that the £276 million hospital was constructed not with public funds, but by a consortium under the Private Finance Initiative – and that the deal to build it included a 30 year “facilities management” contract for one of the firms involved.

The Enniskillen deal may be a shining example of value for money.

But many PFI contracts are not.

Ministers are on the verge of taking over the South London Healthcare Trust, after it proved unable to cope with a bill of more than £60 million a year in interest alone.

One of the trust’s three hospitals, the Princess Royal in Bromley, took £118 million to build, yet will cost roughly £1.2 billion. All told, Labour signed 103 PFI deals for the NHS, at a value of £11.4 billion and an eventual price of more than £65 billion.

The diversion of that money away from patient care will put inexorable pressure on budgets, to the point where some hospitals will crack under the strain.

PFI, in short, is not merely about £22 light bulbs and £875 Christmas trees – it is about budgetary incompetence on a monumental scale.

And it comes as little surprise that it can be traced back to Gordon Brown, who turbo-charged the Tories’ fledgling public-private partnerships in order to buy schools, hospitals and more on the never never.

This allowed him first to evade spending restrictions, and later to splurge on public-sector salaries; in the mean time, the credit card bills got higher and higher.

Many PFI deals delivered what was promised – but where things have gone wrong, as in Bromley, the contracts were often drawn up so poorly that there is little the Coalition can do. Ministers have renegotiated some deals to claw back costs, and should make every effort, and twist every arm, to do more.

They should also remind voters of the ignominious parts played in this debacle by Ed Miliband, Andy Burnham and Ed Balls.

But, above all, they need urgently to produce a way of funding infrastructure that draws on the private sector’s strengths rather than exploiting the public sector’s weaknesses.

Jesse Norman, the Tory MP who has led the way in exposing PFI’s flaws, points out that the state must spend more than £200 billion on new infrastructure over the coming decade, and cannot do so without private help.

The Treasury is beavering away on a new model of funding. If it repeats the errors made by Labour, the cost to the nation will be heavy indeed.

From: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/The-NHS-is-paying-for-Labours-dodgy-deals

Coalition ministers take over bankrupt PFI hospitals

One of Britain’s biggest hospital trusts is “on the brink of bankruptcy” and will be taken over by ministers in the coming weeks after being saddled with large debts from PFI deals.Coalition ministers take over bankrupt PFI hospitalsSouth London Healthcare Trust, which runs three hospitals in the capital, is losing more than £1 million a week and will be run by a troubleshooter and a new management team.

It was formally warned last night that it would be the first NHS body to be taken over by Whitehall-appointed administrators under the “unsustainable providers’ regime”.

More than 20 other hospitals in financial difficulty also face being taken over unless they take urgent steps to turn around their fortunes.

A government source said: “This hospital trust was brought to the brink of bankruptcy by Labour. It is losing £1 million a week, money which could be spent on 1,200 extra nurses for local people.

“The standard of care that patients receive at the hospital trust is not good enough, although there have been some improvements in recent months. It is crucial that those improvements are not put at risk by the challenge of finding the huge savings that the trust needs to make.

“We don’t want a repeat of Stafford, where crude attempts to balance the books had tragic consequences.”

“This will clearly be a difficult and controversial process, but we are determined to turn this trust around so patients in south-east London get the care they deserve.”

The trust runs three hospitals – Queen Mary’s in Sidcup, Queen Elizabeth in Greenwich and Bromley – serving more than a million people and employing more than 6,000 staff.

However, it is thought to have been crippled by the costs of two Private Finance Initiatives used to rebuild two of its hospitals. The schemes, which totalled more than £1 billion, cost more than £60 million annually in interest payments alone.

Draft financial plans submitted by the hospitals to the Department of Health show that it faces a shortfall in its accounts of between £30 million and £75 million annually over the next five years.

Stephen Dorrell, chairman of the health select committee, said in theory under PFI the public and private sectors were meant to share the financial risk of ventures, but this did not happen.

“I regret the fact that contracts were signed that paid private sector costs when the public took the risk. That is indefensible,” he said.

A senior Whitehall official visited the hospital to deliver a letter from Andrew Lansley, the Health Secretary, warning bosses that the legal process to effectively take over the trust had begun. New management is expected to be installed next month.

Mr Lansley’s letter said: “A central objective for all providers is to ensure they deliver high quality services to patients that are clinically and financially sustainable for the long term.

“I recognise that South London Healthcare NHS Trust faces deep and long-standing challenges, some of which are not of its own making. Nonetheless, there must be a point when these problems, however they have arisen, are tackled. I believe we are almost at this point.

“I appreciate that any decision to use these [special] powers will be unsettling for staff, but I want to stress that the powers are being considered now so that patients in south-east London have hospital services that have a sustainable future.

“I am determined to improve health care services for patients in south-east London and will take whatever difficult steps are necessary to achieve this.”

NHS computer disaster to cost another £2 billion

A US company contracted to provide IT technology for the National Health Service is set to receive a £2 billion extension despite the failed project being abandoned.NHS computer disaster to cost another £2 billionComputer Sciences Corporation (CSC) has reportedly informed Wall Street that it expects its contract to provide electronic patient records across the NHS to be extended.

Taxpayers are now facing an estimated £2 billion bill, despite the company already failing to deliver a fully functional version of its software, The Times reported.

The £11.4 billion National Programme for IT, set up in 2002 by bliar, was at the time spun as the world’s biggest civilian computerisation project.

It aimed to give doctors instant access to patient records wherever they were being treated and CSC had signed a deal to computerise records in most of England.

Digitising the medical records of the country’s 62 million people was the core objective of the National Programme for IT in the NHS, accounting for £7 billion of the total estimated cost.

Andrew Lansley, the Health Secretary, announced in September that he was abandoning the scheme to create a national patient database because it had “let down” the health service.

He made the decision to “urgently dismantle” the failed project after criticism it was not value for taxpayers’ money.

Yet the company stated in official US papers that it was in talks with the British Government for its contract to be extended until 2017, at a cost of up to £2 billion.

Computer applications installed as part of the scheme have also failed or been scrapped.

However, £250,000 in bonuses has been paid by the DoH to 80 people involved in the scheme as a reward for “an exceptional contribution to delivery”.

CSC, one of the world’s biggest IT providers, had been contracted to provide patient record software, known as the Lorenzo system, to 166 NHS hospitals. But it has delivered on 10 projects. None of those systems is fully functional.

CSC has signed deals worth hundreds of millions of pounds with Royal Mail, Identity and Passport Service and UK Atomic Energy Authority.

The Coalition’s Major Projects Authority, established to review Labour’s financial commitments, found the scheme was not fit to provide services to the NHS.

A cross-party committee of MPs concluded the programme had proved “beyond the capacity of the DoH to deliver”.

Katherine Murphy, of the Patients Association, said it was “shameful” to pour more money into a failed initiative.

Labour wasted cancer cash on NHS salaries and PFI schemes

Cancer care on the NHS lags behind that in many other developed countries because Labour wasted billions of pounds on PFI schemes, bureaucracy and inflated salaries for managers.Labour wasted cancer cash on NHS salaries and PFI schemesA report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has found that, despite record spending on health care, cancer survival rates in Britain are worse than in Slovenia and the Czech Republic.

Survival rates for breast cancer, prostate cancer and cervical cancer were below the average for the 34 developed countries in the study.

Mr Lansley lays the blame for the poor performance on the previous government’s failure to make sure that extra investment in the NHS reached the front line. He claims patient care was ignored in favour of increased salaries and botched computer systems.

Writing in The Daily Telegraph, Mr Lansley says: “Unfortunately this report shows how much work there is to do to deal with Labour’s legacy of neglect and mismanagement of our NHS.

“They hugely increased spending on the Health Service, but wasted much of it on managers, failed IT projects and unsustainable PFI projects.

“They failed to focus on what really matters – patients – which is why we still have some of the worst cancer outcomes amongst comparable countries.”

Under Labour, spending on the NHS trebled, reaching almost £100 billion in 2009, but money for treating cancer still lags behind much of the rest of the world.

A report by the Policy Exchange think tank last year found that England spent around 5.6 per cent of its health care budget on cancer care, compared with 7.7 per cent in France, 9.6 per cent in Germany and 9.2 per cent in America.

In September it emerged that private finance initiatives, introduced by Labour to fund capital projects, have left 60 NHS hospitals on the “brink of financial collapse”. Meanwhile, the pay of NHS chief executives has risen, with typical earnings now more than £150,000.

The OECD figures reveal that the best breast cancer survival rates were in the US, where 89.3 per cent of women were alive five years after being diagnosed. The average across all OECD countries was 83.5 per cent, while in the UK it was 81.3 per cent.

Survival rates for cervical cancer were worse. Norway topped the table with 78.2 per cent still alive after five years, compared with 58 per cent of women in the UK. There were also more hospital admissions for asthma and other lung conditions than the average and infant mortality was higher.

The report also showed that consultations by doctors have fallen, and were below he OECD average in 2009.

Katherine Murphy, the chief executive of the Patients Association, said: “The NHS provides some excellent care but it does fall down on many counts. We know from patients phoning our helpline that the quality of care that they have experienced can be very poor and sometimes it is downright neglectful.

“Rather than trying to tackle the issue of poor care, the Department of Health is demanding that the NHS makes £20 billion of efficiency savings while spending a million pounds a day on a reform plan that doctors, nurses, patients and NHS managers all say risks irrevocably damaging the NHS.”

From:  http://www.telegraph.co.uk/Cancer-cash-wasted-on-NHS-salaries

Glasgow Royal Infirmary protest at PFI parking fee hike

Health workers at a Glasgow hospital are staging a protest later over a 113% increase in parking fees.Glasgow Royal Infirmary protest at PFI parking fee hikeThe monthly cost of a permit for the multi-storey at Glasgow Royal Infirmary (GRI) has risen from £42 to £89.50.

Parking fees at most Scottish hospitals were abolished in 2009 but remained at three sites where car parks were built under Labour’s Private Finance Initiative (PFI) .

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said a limited number of £25 permits were available for staff who needed cars.

The multi-storey car park, which opened in 2005, is owned by Impreglio Car Parking and managed by Apcoa under contract to the health board.

Approximately 940 subsidised permits are issued with priority given to staff such as consultants who need to travel between different sites.

Other staff can apply for these permits, but demand outstrips availability and not all applicants are successful.

At the time, Scottish Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon urged health boards to limit and reduce the charges until the contracts came to an end.

In September, the issue was raised in the Scottish parliament by Glasgow Kelvin MSP Sandra White.

She was told that the first minister sympathised with the staff, but the Scottish Government was bound by the terms of the PFI agreement signed by the previous Labour administration.

A spokeswoman for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said: “Unfortunately, as the car park is privately-owned, we do not have any control over any tariff increases that Impreglio choose to make.”

The protest was due to take place at the hospital car park from 13:00.

From: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-15622723

Single women being offered IVF on the NHS

Single women are being offered fertility treatment by almost a fifth of NHS trusts casting doubt on the Government’s family friendly credentials.Single women being offered IVF on the NHSWomen not in relationships are receiving publicly funded IVF despite official guidance that suggests support should go to couples who have been trying without success to have a baby for several years.

Meanwhile in other parts of the country married couples are being denied help in starting a family, forcing them to spend thousands of pounds on private treatment.

It comes after a Labour nanny state law removed the requirement for fertility doctors to consider a child’s need to have a male role model before going ahead with IVF.

Critics say the Government, which David Cameron promised would be “the most family friendly we’ve ever had in this country”, should tackle the postcode lottery of IVF provision and ensure that the needs of children are put first.

Frank Field, the Labour MP who carried out a high-profile review into poverty and life chances last year, said: “It’s clearly wrong that while couples in stable relationships can’t get IVF and in other areas, single women can.

“It’s really important that Government ministers speak up for children who are the ones left out of this. It needs someone in a position of authority to reflect what most taxpayers think.”

The Rt Rev Michael Nazir-Ali, the former Bishop of Rochester who once chaired the ethics committee of Britain’s fertility watchdog, said: “The irony is that at the very time research is showing the need for both parents, we are writing fathers out of the legislation.

“It’s one thing for a mother to find herself a single parent because of tragic circumstances. It’s quite another to plan for a situation where the child comes into the world without having a father or any possibility of having a father.”

Most local health authorities stipulate that couples must have been in a relationship for two or three years to qualify for IVF treatment.

That requirement is based on guidance issued in 2004 by the National Institute for Curbing Expenditure (Nice), the NHS rationing body,.

It states: “Couples in which the woman is aged 23–39 years at the time of treatment and who have an identified cause for their fertility problems … or who have infertility of at least three years’ duration, should be offered up to three stimulated cycles of in vitro fertilisation treatment.”

The document does note that the guidelines do not address social criteria “for example, whether it is single women or same-sex couples who are seeking treatment”.

However the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 removed the reference to “the need for a father” when considering the welfare of the child when considering fertility treatment, replacing it with “the need for supportive parenting”.

Gareth Johnson MP, who chairs the All Party Parliamentary Group on Infertility, said that trusts offering the service to single women were going against one of the guiding principles of IVF, “that you are treating an infertile couple, not an infertile individual”.

Mr Johnson, the Conservative MP for Dartford, said: “Speaking in a personal capacity, if you are going for IVF, you are trying to create a baby, so there should be some evidence of a stable background, which you would expect to be a couple.”

Earlier this year he led an APPG report that found startling differences between what health authorities offered in terms of IVF.

It found three-quarters of Primary Care Trusts were failing to offer three cycles of IVF, as stipulated by Nice. Each cycle comprises a woman’s ovaries being stimulated to produce eggs, which are then fertilised in vitro and implanted in the womb. Spare eggs should be frozen for use if the first attempt fails.

The report found five trusts offered no IVF at all – Warrington, West Sussex, Stockport, North Staffordshire and North Yorkshire and York. Since then, NHS West Sussex has decided to start funding IVF again.

Many trusts have also started putting in place further barriers to IVF funding – for example demanding obese women lose weight – in part to limit demand as health budgets tighten.

Against a background of increasingly scarce provision, as the NHS tries to save £20billion by 2015, Mr Johnson said the decision to offer IVF to single women was misplaced.

From: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/Single-women-being-offered-IVF-on-the-NHS

Doctors from overseas must speak English or be banned Lansley to tell Conservative Party Conference

Foreign doctors who cannot speak English are to be banned from working in NHS hospitals and clinics, the Health Secretary will announce today.Doctors from overseas must speak English or be banned Lansley to tell Conservative Party ConferenceThe NHS will introduce mandatory language tests for doctors moving to Britain after training elsewhere in the European Union.

The decision follows a series of cases in which patients have died or suffered poor care as a result of doctors speaking sub-standard English.

The issue was brought to national attention three years ago when Dr Daniel Ubani, a German-trained GP on his first out-of-hours shift in Britain, killed David Gray, 70, by giving him 10 times the normal dose of diamorphine.

In his speech to the Conservative Party conference today, Andrew Lansley will say that the Medical Act will be amended so that doctors must speak good English to practise in Britain.

“I am determined that doctors who come from overseas to work here in our NHS must not only have the right qualifications, but also the language skills to practise here,” the Health Secretary is expected to say. “We will amend the Medical Act to ensure that any doctor from overseas who can’t use a decent level of English is not able to treat NHS patients. This is not about discriminating; we’ve always appreciated how much overseas doctors and nurses give to our NHS. It is simply about our absolute commitment to put patients’ safety first.”

There are more than 88,000 foreign-trained doctors registered to work in Britain, including 22,758 from Europe. They account for almost a third of the total.

Under the proposals, local NHS trusts would have a duty to check the language skills of foreign-trained doctors before they can be employed. In addition, the General Medical Council would be given powers to take action against doctors when there were concerns about their ability to speak English. At present, only doctors from outside the European Economic Area are routinely scrutinised for their language skills before being registered by the GMC.

This means that doctors from Canada or Australia are routinely tested for their language skills while those from countries such as Poland and France are not.

It had previously been thought that European Union laws ensuring the freedom of movement of labour prevented language testing. However, the European Commission has recently stated that the language tests would be legal.

Dr Ubani, who admitted he had never heard of the drug he gave to Mr Gray, was struck off by the GMC in June last year but still practises in Germany. His poor English meant he was refused work by the NHS in West Yorkshire but was accepted in Cornwall and Camb-ridgeshire, where he saw Mr Gray.

Since the case, the GMC and other NHS leaders have repeatedly warned that some foreign doctors’ language skills are so poor that patients are being put at risk.

Compulsory language tests for foreign doctors will raise concerns that the NHS could be left short-staffed, such is its reliance on overseas medics. Ministers believe that the majority will reach the necessary standard of English.

Mr Lansley will today deliver a robust defence of the Government’s health policy, saying that money is being diverted from cutting bureaucracy to front-line services.

“Unlike Labour, we will make sure that every penny of our investment goes right to the patients who matter, not the huge Labour bureaucracy which we inherited,” he will say. “And all that is why, since the election, we now have 1,500 more doctors and 5,000 fewer managers in the NHS.”

He will also claim that hospital infection rates have fallen and the number of people being treated in mixed-sex wards has fallen by more than 90 per cent over the past eight months.

From: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/Conservative-Party-Conference-2011-doctors-from-overseas-must-speak-English-or-be-banned

NHS hospitals crippled by labour’s PFI scheme

Patient care is under threat at more than 60 NHS hospitals which are “on the brink of financial collapse” because of costly private finance initiative schemes the Health Secretary warns.NHS hospitals crippled by labour's PFI schemeAndrew Lansley says he has been contacted by 22 health service trusts which claim their “clinical and financial stability” is being undermined by the costs of the contracts, which the Labour government used extensively to fund public sector projects.

The trusts in jeopardy include Barts and the London, Oxford Radcliffe, North Bristol, St Helens and Knowsley, and Portsmouth.

Between them the trusts run more than 60 hospitals which care for 12 million patients.

There is already evidence that waiting lists for non–urgent operations have begun to rise as hospitals delay treatment to save money. Adding to this are growing fears over the impact of the financial crisis on care this winter.

Under the PFI deals, a private contractor builds a hospital or school. It owns the building for up to 35 years, and during this period the public sector must pay interest and repay the cost of construction, as well as paying the contractor to maintain the building.

However, the total cost of the deals is often far more than the value of the assets. As a result, Mr Lansley says, the 22 trusts “cannot afford” to pay for their schemes, which in total are worth more than £5.4billion, because the required payments have risen sharply in the wake of the recession.

Mr Lansley said: “Over the last year, we’ve been working to expose the mess Labour left us with, and the truth is that some hospitals have been landed with PFI deals they simply cannot afford.

“Like the economy, Labour has brought some parts of the NHS to the brink of financial collapse. Tough solutions may be needed for these problems, but we’ll help the NHS overcome them. We will not make the sick pay for Labour’s debt crisis.”

He said hospitals would not be allowed to collapse financially.

“There are many hospitals that are well run, do not have a legacy of debt and do have projects which are perfectly sustainable. My point is that we have looked since the election and are working together with individual trusts to arrive at a place where they are financially, and in terms of the quality of their services, sustainable for the future. We can only do that if we work closely with them,” he said.

“This is about making very clear that we are not only working on unsustainable PFIs, but also working with legacy debt that the NHS has been left with, working on the IT programmes which were on an unsustainable scale of contractual commitments that didn’t meet the need of the NHS’s customers.

“Across the board, we have to tackle Labour’s legacy of poor value formoney and debt.”

Over the next few weeks, Department of Health officials and executives at the 22 trusts will develop detailed plans for dealing with the crisis. Their proposals are expected to include significant cost–cutting and the renegotiation of PFI contracts.

Money will also be moved from NHS trusts that are in better financial shape to cover the debt costs at those that are struggling. However, officials are braced for the need to use Whitehall funds to bail out some hospitals.

Among the trusts which have contacted Mr Lansley to inform him of their severe financial problems are several London institutions, including South London Healthcare, Barking, Havering and Redbridge, and North Middlesex.

Outside the capital, other trusts to have approached the health department include Wye Valley, Worcester Acute Hospitals, Mid Yorkshire, and Walsall.

After the general election last year, Mr Lansley ordered officials to establish why some NHS hospitals were under–performing. The health department is assessing the financial position of every hospital. It is understood that the PFI costs have emerged as a leading factor in poor patient care in some areas.

The Health Secretary decided to disclose the list of hospitals in difficulty and is expected to announce the rescue plans for each trust next month.

Taxpayers are having to pay more than £200 billion for schools, hospitals and other projects whose capital value is little more than £50 billion.

In one example, a hospital in Bromley, south east London, will ultimately cost the NHS £1.2 billion, more than 10 times what it is worth. Another hospital was charged £52,000 for maintenance that cost £750. The annual cost of the schemes is almost £400 for each household.

The public payments for PFI deals are typically linked to inflation and therefore the cost to taxpayers has increased by up to a third since the beginning of the credit crisis, according to the National Audit Office. Last month, MPs on the Treasury select committee effectively called for a moratorium on new PFI projects, which it said were “like a drug” as the costs were not apparent at the outset.

George Osborne, the Chancellor, has tightened the rules on the deals.

Earlier this year, John Healey, the shadow health secretary, admitted in an interview that Labour ministers had failed when negotiating the multi–million pound schemes for hospitals.

“There is definitely a case for saying we were poor at PFI, poor at negotiating PFI contracts at the outset,” he said.

Companies who run PFI schemes boast profit margins of up to 71 per cent on the projects, but have come under growing pressure from MPs and ministers to return some of their “windfall profits”.

From: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/NHS-hospitals-crippled-by-PFI-scheme