Barts trust bucks trend by saving £7m on PFI contract

Barts Health NHS Trust proves PFI contracts do not have to be costly

Barts Health NHS Trust has secured savings in the region of £7m over the life of one of its Private Finance Initiative (PFI) contracts, including an immediate payment of more than £1m from the private sector company that built and manages part of the estate.

Director of estates for Barts, Trevor Payne, heralded the payment as an amazing success that follows excellent work in uncovering, and then delivering, savings for the public sector.

He said "The size and complexity of PFI deals provides a management challenge to NHS trusts, and these contracts need to be closely examined to make sure that the NHS is getting best value."

"We're working closely with our appointed specialist advisors, P2G, to help us in this process, and we're very pleased with the early results." he added.

The review follows the recent Treasury emphasis on ensuring that the public sector is actually getting what it pays for under previously-let PFI contracts. This early success bears out concerns expressed by the Department of Health, which has previously said that many of the existing contracts had clauses that require the PFI partner to share savings that they make on energy and insurance costs, but that ‘there is evidence that some trusts are not getting this benefit’.

Bruce Dalgleish and Russell Manley, the founding partners of P2G, both worked in senior roles in private sector PFI companies before starting a social enterprise partnership to deliver savings back to the public sector.

Dalgleish said: “On the contracts we have looked at to date, we believe that this sort of issue is not uncommon, and we would not be surprised to achieve similar or greater levels of savings on many more PFI contracts in the future."

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