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Loan payments ‘will not halt trust bid’
11:00am Monday 1st October 2012 in News
HOSPITAL managers in Oxfordshire have claimed costly loan repayments will not affect a move towards foundation trust status.
The Oxford University Hospitals (OUH) Trust currently faces an annual bill of around £53m to fund repayments on the private loans taken out for developments such as the Children’s Hospital and Oxford Cancer Centre. They were paid for under controversial private finance initiatives, which tend to have extremely high interest rates.
It means the private contractor can own the building for anything up to 35 years, while the public sector pays interest on the cost of construction, as well as paying maintenance costs.
The Government wants all NHS care providers to gain foundation trust status by 2014.
As part of the OUH’s move to foundation trust status — which will give hospitals more control over its budget —it must prove that it can manage its finances well.
Chief executive Sir Jonathan Michael said the costs were “manageable”’.