A report on the financial future of two hospitals in Peterborough and Huntingdon has estimated that the Department of Health is paying £1 million a week to keep the Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals Trust afloat.
Criticising the decision to build a new hospital, whilst hiring a private firm to run another one 24 miles away, the report found:
Management consultants had been used at "great expense to little effect", with Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals Trust spending £9 million in the last two financial years
The Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals Trust had accumulated the highest deficit in the highest in the NHS for 2011/12, of £45.8 million
Christina McAnea, Unison's head of health said the report needs to "serve as a warning" over the "dangers" of NHS franchising.
Unison warned from the start that selling Hinchingbrooke off to a private company was the wrong cure for its problems. In just one year some of our worst fears are coming true, and the much-hyped savings that many claimed would be delivered are not materialising.
She added that other trusts around the country were "struggling from bad PFI deals", and that patients may have to pay the price.
This report will make worrying reading for local people and for health workers. It reveals the high price paid by local people when bad decisions are made about NHS services. The lessons must be learnt to avoid these issues happening again.
An independent committee has accused the Department of Health of making "catastrophic" decisions over the decision allow a new hospital in a city, while a private firm was being hired to run another one 24 miles away.
According to the Commons Public Accounts Committee, the Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals Trust had accumulated a deficit of more than £45 million by the end of 2011/12.
The trust's financial position is now so serious that, even if it achieves challenging annual savings, it will still require significant financial support of up to £26 million a year for the next 30 years to remain viable.
– Stewart Jackson, Conservative MP for Peterborough, and a member of the committee