Hospital Debt

12th April 2020

Epping Forest MP Dame Eleanor Laing has welcomed the announcement that The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust will benefit from a £150m debt write-off as part of the government’s announcement to scrap £13.4 billion of NHS debt across England.

Dame Eleanor said: “I am delighted The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust will have £150m worth of 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 Epping Forest and Harlow 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 give the NHS the financial certainty it needs to respond to the pandemic and help save lives."

She added: "This announcement comes at a difficult time for the NHS whose staff both in our district hospital, GP practices and in the community are doing such a marvellous job, from the consultants to the cleaners.

"We all really appreciate what they are doing to look after us."

This debt write-off will rid more than 100 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.

The Government continues to support and protect the NHS throughout the coronavirus outbreak by:

· Ensuring the NHS has any extra resources it needs to tackle the virus, including access to a £5 billion Covid-19 Response Fund

· Increasing the capacity of the NHS with new, temporary NHS Nightingale Hospitals opening in
London, Birmingham, Manchester, Bristol and Harrogate

· Providing free car parking for NHS workers at hospitals

· Bringing recently retired doctors and nurses back into the NHS to help bolster our fight against coronavirus.

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."

Dame Eleanor Laing MP

Coronavirus - COVID-19

Image by Olga Lionart from Pixabay

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