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Two hospitals told finances 'unsustainable'

Crisis in the NHS, as two hospitals in the East are told their finances are unsustainable. Peterborough Hospital is paying a million pounds a week under its PFI agreement, while the private company running Hinchingbrooke Hospital in Huntingdon has failed to make the savings it had hoped.

The MP for Peterborough, Stewart Jackson was a member of the Public Accounts committee set up to look into NHS finances. Matthew Hudson has sent this report.

MP blasts Peterborough Hospital decision

Peterborough Hospital
Peterborough Hospital is costing £1m a week to keep afloat Credit: PA

A decision to build a new hospital in Peterborough has been branded 'catastrophic' by a local MP.

Peterborough MP Stewart Jackson, said the PFI hospital, officially opened by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, was costing taxpayers £1m a week to keep afloat.

A report by the House of Commons Public Accounts committee said decisions to build the hospital and award a franchise to a private company to run the nearby Hinchingbrooke hospital 'lacked strategic oversight.'

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Critical report on decisions over two local hospitals

Hospital decisions criticised Credit: ITV Anglia

The Department of Health came under attack today after a damning report criticised a decision to build a new hospital and award a franchise to a private firm to run another one a few miles away.

The Department of Health came under attack today after a damning report criticised a decision to build a new hospital and award a franchise to a private firm to run another one a few miles away.

The Commons Public Accounts Committee said there had been a "complete lack" of strategic oversight over the building of a private finance initiative hospital in Peterborough and allowing Circle Healthcare to run the nearby Hinchingbrooke Hospital.

The decision left two hospitals whose financial viability and future was in doubt, said the committee.

Stewart Jackson, Conservative MP for Peterborough, and a committee member, said the strategic management of health resources across the East of England Strategic Health Authority had failed.

"Ultimate responsibility for this rests with the Department of Health," he said.

Couple pocketed baby unit cash

Hinchingbrooke Hospital, Huntingdon Credit: ITV Anglia

A COUPLE who pocketed cash intended for a hospital baby unit in Huntingdon have been ordered to pay compensation to the charity.

Julia Harriss, 32, and Daniel Harriss, 31, both of Butts Close, Somersham, Huntingdon, pleaded guilty to theft at Huntingdon Magistrates' Court.

The couple, who own a ghost tour company, set up a charity walk claiming it was in aid of the Special Care Baby Unit at Hinchingbrooke Hospital in August last year.

They advertised the event in the local papers and sold £30 tickets to people who wanted to help raise money for the special cause.

Several walkers tried to contact the couple after the event to find out how much had been raised, but were unable to get hold of them and found the Facebook page had been deleted.

They contacted Hinchingbrooke Health Care Trust who confirmed no money had been paid to the charity and a police investigation was launched.

The couple admitted they had organised the event but had not paid any money to the charity.

Both were given 24-month conditional discharges and were each ordered to pay £85 costs and a £15 victim surcharge. They were also ordered to pay £916 compensation to Hinchingbrooke Health Care Trust.

Three months since Hinchingbrooke Hospital became a private company

Hinchingbrooke Hospital in Huntingdon
Hinchingbrooke Hospital in Huntingdon Credit: ITV Anglia

It's three months since Hinchingbrooke Hospital in Huntingdon became the first in the country to be run by a private company. Circle Healthcare inherited the hospital's £40 million debt but hopes to save money by cutting bureacracy.

The company says it has already stopped three quarters of serious infections and halved the length of time of long hospital stays.

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