Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Hospital penalised for treating too many patients

Regular readers of Private Eye will have probably read the history of scandals associated with the Private Finance Initiative (PFI). The real problem associated with of PFI is that those councillors and NHS administrators who are so keen on promoting it will, in most cases, be either pruning their roses, or have had their ashes scattered on them by the time the big bills start rolling in. At the last General Election an Independent MP was elected in Kidderminster because of public hostility to the virtual closure of their acute hospital in order to support a PFI hospital just outside of Worcester. Kidderminster closed. Worcester was operating at 98% capacity. Worcester has to pay a £200,000 fine, money that could have been spent on patient care, to a private company because, to quote the Trust spokesperson "people who come into A & E are given a bed when they don't necessarily need one."