Cities of London & Westminster MP Nickie Aiken MP welcomed the announcement that both
Barts Health NHS Trust and Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust will benefit both from a debt write-off as part of the government’s announcement to scrap £13.4 billion of NHS debt across England. Both trusts are responsible for hospitals within the Nickie’s constituency. Barts Heath Trust runs St Bart’s Hospital in the City of London while Imperial College Healthcare Trust are responsible for St Mary's Hospital, Paddington and the Western Eye Hospital in Marylebone.
Barts Health Trust will see approximately £592 million of debt written off while Imperial College will have over £15 million.
This debt write-off will rid more than a hundred NHS hospitals of historic debt, freeing them up to invest in maintaining vital services and longer-term infrastructure improvements. This announcement also comes alongside a new NHS funding model to make sure the NHS has the necessary funding and support to respond to the coronavirus pandemic.
The changes will provide much needed financial support during this unprecedented viral pandemic, as well as laying secure foundations for the longer-term commitments set out last year to support the NHS to become more financially sustainable.
This is part of a package of major reforms to the NHS financial system, designed in a collaboration between the Department of Health and Social Care and NHS England, which will begin from the start of the new financial year.
This package is launched in combination with a simpler internal payment system to help NHS trusts in dealing with the coronavirus response, which was agreed with NHS England last week.
This significant change will mean hospitals will get all the necessary funding to carry out their emergency response, despite many hospitals cancelling or limiting their usual services such as elective surgery or walk-in clinics due to the virus.
Commenting, Nickie said: “I am delighted that Barts Health NHS Trust and Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust will have their debt written off as part of the government’s announcement to reset NHS finances. This will help put NHS hospitals, mental health and community services across the Cities of London & Westminster in a stronger position not only to deal with coronavirus in the short term, but on a stable footing in the long term as well.
“The government is committed to doing whatever it takes to tackle coronavirus – and this announcement will the NHS the financial certainty it needs to respond to the pandemic and help save lives.”
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “As we tackle this crisis, nobody in our health service should be distracted by their hospital’s past finances. This £13.4 billion debt write off will wipe the slate clean and allow NHS hospitals to plan for the future and invest in vital services. I remain committed to providing the NHS with whatever it needs to tackle coronavirus, and the changes to the funding model will give the NHS immediate financial certainty to plan and deliver their emergency response.”