We are appealing for your support in funding and publicising the need for an independent review of the case for the PF2 scheme to Midland Metropolitan Hospital in Sandwell.
Over the last two decades the construction of most public buildings and infrastructure has been financed through Private Finance Initiatives. The taxpayer continues to pay for PFI schemes many times over the original cost of the build. The level of profits made by private companies from PFI schemes has proved scandalous and the last Government was forced to replace PFI with PF2.
The new Midland Metropolitan Hospital will be the first major NHS project to be built under PF2. Although there will be a £100m taxpayer stake in the scheme, but many of the old problems of PFI remain. The Business case anticipates a 13% rate of return to the PF2 partners.
The Hospital is to be built by a partnership led by Carillion PLC and is scheduled to open in late 2018. It replaces two existing hospitals, but will have 200 fewer acute beds. The 30 year scheme will require Carillion to then maintain the Hospital over that period.
But to afford this PF2 scheme, major changes will be made to the way the Hospital organises its services and this involves large cuts in the workforce including the loss of 1,347 posts over a 6 year period including cuts to the number of Acute nurses.
While cutting 200 hospital beds, there is little current evidence that the development of community based health services will be able to reduce the number of acute admissions. At the same time unprecedented cuts are being made to councils’ Adult social care services and the Better Care Fund (which is meant to help reduce Hospital admissions) is being ring-fenced from existing budgets. As the population ages, there will also be an increase in the need for NHS services.
While ensuring financial affordability of PF2 and the credit rating of the Trust, major questions need to be asked as to the overall sustainability of the Business case of the PF2 and whether the changes in the way clinical services are to be provided and afforded can meet the health needs of half a million people in the years to come.
At the moment Carillion Joint Ventures has been named as the preferred bid and the contract is likely to be signed in early 2016. The Birmingham TUC Health campaign believes there is a need for an urgent independent review of the Business Case for the PF2. The independent review would be presented to Councillors and local MPs later this autumn.
The Business case should be effectively scrutinised and subject to full local debate before the contract is signed. Can your organisation please urgently consider making a donation to the cost of this research and how you might take up the issues arising from the completed review. Please see attached a model motion.
For more information please contact Birmingham TUC Health Campaign Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org. Cheques can be made payable to ‘Birmingham Trades Union Council’ and returned to the Treasurer at the above address.
A model motion for your organisation can be accessed here Model motion on the Midland Metropolitan Hospital PF2 (2)