MP demands King’s Hospital debt should be written off

Katherine Johnston (05 February, 2020) Politics

The trust had a balanced budget nearly a decade ago

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King’s College Hospital’s huge debt should be written off, says Dulwich and West Norwood MP Helen Hayes.

Speaking in the House of Commons, Hayes argued the hospital’s debt – the largest of any hospital trust in the country – is as a result of government cuts and lack of investment.

“There is no investment for King’s in the secretary of state’s list of hospitals receiving capital investment, and no proposal to write off the unsustainable level of debt.

“What message am I to take back to the hard-working, life-saving staff at King’s College Hospital who are currently struggling in impossible financial circumstances?”

In April last year, the News reported that King’s was on track to hit a record overspend – again – of as much as £191 million by the end of the 18/19 financial year. The trust had a balanced budget nearly a decade ago.

Plans to part privatise, selling off the “capital, estates and facilities management” service were shelved in 2019.  This would have saved the trust cash on VAT – cash that ultimately goes toward the public purse.

The government’s NHS funding bill entered parliament on January 15. It legally commits an extra £33.9 billion a year by 2024 – criticised by opposition parties as enshrining chronic under funding.

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