Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust has ended a PFI early by buying West Park Hospital in Darlington from the private that built it and leased it to the Trust. (See: http://www.tewv.nhs.uk/Trust-News/Archive-News/Buying-West-Park-Hospital-/).
There would have been detailed and careful consideration of whether it was cheaper to buy the hospital when a break clause in the contract allowed it, rather than carry on with the PFI arrangement. The rules on deciding such things are clear, if sometimes complex.
This is thought to be the first time this has happened in the NHS, the Trust says. Other public sector organisations will be watching and considering their own positions. In the current economic climate, the best economy may be following TEWV’s lead.
Congratulations to all the winners in the Trust’s annual Making a Difference awards. Good luck next year to the superstars who didn’t win this year.