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NHS / PFI ? The Chickens Are Coming Home To Roost ... At OUR Expense ! - Page 2 - Carers UK Forum

NHS / PFI ? The Chickens Are Coming Home To Roost ... At OUR Expense !

Discuss news stories and political issues that affect carers.
Personally I still think that simply totting up what the 'actual value' of the build was, and the 'actual' cost of the maintenance contracts annually are, and then deducting that from whatever outrageous rip-off payment the public sector has made so far, to see whether the 'real costs' have now been paid off, is all that is required. Then simply tell the private sector they've had their dosh (and probably more!), and that's it guys. You can whistle for any more.

'Don't sue us, we'll sue you'.......except that the government just needs to pass instant legislation or whatever to say forget suiing us.

The legal point is that these are fundamentally 'unfair contracts' because they are SO rip-off, and therefore de facto are OK to cancel on the grounds THEY'VE HAD THEIR PROFIT and ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.

(I still like my Plan B - which is for the government to edict that ALL the sums payable to the PFI contractors now have to be paid into a 'special' new government fund, which will then sort out what money goes where, and to whom, and when....but, sadly, this bureaucracy will be VERY VERY VERY SLOW - dreadfully slow, amazingly complex, and nearly always full of errors.....oh dear what a shame! - such that the PFI contrators will 'agree' to be 'bought out' at a VERY high discount, to 'walk away' from the contracts themselves.)
What is unknown from the PFI sector is ... just how many of our law makers have " Interests " ... whether as shadow directors / share holders ( Probably through nominees ) / associated ( Family and / or friends ).

Therein may well be an " Interesting " problem should someone seek to make some of these contracts null and void ?

" Nationalisation without compensation " ... famous words from the past ... we have all heard those words before ... haven't we ... comrades ???

In the last century , the landed gentry were only too willing to accept £ Millions for their loss making mines when coal was nationised.

Before the days of the Eye ... regretably !
A prosperous new year ... for Sir Richard Branson ?

https://www.theguardian.com/society/201 ... -contracts

Richard Branson's Virgin healthcare firm scoops £1bn of NHS contracts.

Virgin Care’s success highlights fears over role of private companies in NHS and casts doubt on recent assurances by Jeremy Hunt.

Richard Branson’s Virgin Care won a record £1bn of NHS contracts last year, as £3.1bn of health services were privatised despite a government pledge to reduce the proportion of care provided by private companies.

Overall, private firms scooped 267 – almost 70% – of the 386 clinical contracts that were put out to tender in England during 2016-17, according to a new report. They included the seven highest value contracts, worth £2.43bn between them, and 13 of the 20 most lucrative tenders.

The £3.1bn in contracts, a big rise on the previous year’s £2.4bn, prompted concern that profit-driven companies are increasingly involved in delivering care, in a development that undermines repeated assurances by the health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, that they play only a marginal role.

“These figures clearly show that privatisation has a strong momentum within the NHS,” said Paul Evans, the director of the NHS Support Federation, a campaign group which monitors the privatisation of NHS services and which produced the report. “The doors to private sector involvement in the NHS remain open despite promises to move away from market-based approaches by NHS leaders and politicians. Privateers continue to win huge new NHS contracts.”

Virgin’s £1bn haul means it now has over 400 separate NHS contracts.

Its growing role has prompted particular anger among anti-privatisation groups. It pays no tax in the UK and its ultimate parent company, Virgin Group Holdings Ltd, is based in the British Virgin Islands, a tax haven.

In addition, it came under fire for suing six clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) in Surrey, NHS England and Surrey county council last year after losing an £82m contract for children’s services to a rival bid involving a local NHS trust and two social enterprises. A settlement of the action appears to have involved the six CCGs paying Virgin an undisclosed sum.

Virgin said it had been so concerned over “serious flaws in the procurement process” that it had no choice but to launch the proceedings.

The private sector’s £3.1bn of wins last year represented more than two-fifths (43%) of the £7.2bn of contracts tendered by the NHS for services including babies’ health and out of hours GP care. That dwarfed the £2.55bn (35%) of tenders won by NHS trusts and £1.53bn (21%) by not-for-profit organisations, including charities.

The expanding role of for-profit firms comes despite a pledge by the NHS England chief executive, Simon Stevens – backed by Hunt – to abolish the purchaser/provider split in the health service introduced by Margaret Thatcher’s government in 1990, which helped facilitate competition in healthcare and the outsourcing of services, and promote greater integration of health and social care services.

“Private health providers now have a strong foothold,” said Evans. “Billions of pounds-worth of opportunities to bid for NHS business are still being advertised, despite numerous failures and widespread criticism.”

Critics say that the sector’s continued success stands in sharp contrast to a long history of winning contracts, often by undercutting rival bids from NHS trusts, only to then hand back those that do not yield a profit or have them taken away because they have provided inadequate care.

The report details “a catalogue of failures” – dozens of examples of private firms taking over NHS services since 2012 but then abandoning them, either because they cost them too much to provide, or could not recruit enough staff, or went into administration – or, often, because of serious complaints about the quality of their service.

For example, in 2014 Circle pulled out of its 10-year contract to run Hinchingbrooke hospital in Cambridgeshire – the first NHS hospital to be run by a private firm – two years early after encountering financial problems and heavy criticism from the Care Quality Commission (CQC), which regulates NHS care standards.

In 2013, Serco ended its contract to provide out of hours GP care in Cornwall after staff falsified data about its performance. And in 2015, Coperforma’s £63.5m takeover of non-urgent patient transport to hospital in southern England was branded an “absolute shambles” by health unions after kidney patients awaiting dialysis and cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy missed vital appointments. It finally lost the contract in late 2016.

“The NHS is currently going through the biggest financial squeeze in its history, which has translated into service closures and greater rationing. Now on top of that this report reveals more evidence of increasing NHS privatisation accelerating at an alarming rate, and yet this toxic outsourcing agenda is failing both patients and staff alike,” said Jonathan Ashworth, Labour’s shadow health secretary.

Care UK, which has links to the Conservative party, gained the second biggest share of NHS contracts last year – worth £596.3m. It won a contract worth £169.5m in partnership with an NHS trust, and three others for £135.6m, £120.9m and £115m in its own right.

Both it and Virgin Care have benefited by changing tactics to target often high-value contracts for community-based health services as the NHS in England increasingly moves care out of hospitals, the report says. Care UK already runs the NHS 111 telephone advice service and walk-in centres in some areas. In 2009, its chairman, Sir John Nash, donated £21,000 to Andrew Lansley, who as the Conservative health secretary in the coalition a year later forced NHS bodies to tender out far more services through the controversial Health and Social Care Act.

“Dysfunctional” NHS procurement rules mean that private firms could land another £10bn of contracts in the next three years, said Evans. The NHS Support Federation, which is funded by individuals, charitable trusts and trade unions including the TUC, tracks publicly available information about NHS tenders.

Virgin Care and Care UK defended their role in delivering NHS-funded healthcare. A Virgin Care spokesman said:“We have a strong track record of delivering high quality, free NHS services over the last 11 years. More than 93% of people rating the services we run would recommend them, while the CQC have said in their recent report we can evidence the improvements we have made to community services.”

A spokesperson for Care UK said: “We have a very strong track record in partnering with the NHS to deliver high-quality and patient-focused care. This includes three services rated outstanding by the CQC and consistently high patient feedback scores.”

A Department of Health spokesperson said: “Spend on private healthcare by the NHS accounts for just eight pence of every pound and this government is fully committed to a world-class NHS owned and funded by the British taxpayer and free at the point of use, now and in the future.”

Make of this what you will ... it's happening now.

A slippery slope ... and the angle is getting steeper.
The fallout from the collapse of Carillon is affecting many sectors as most readers will already be aware of through the media coverage.

One comment from thousands around as I type worthy of posting as OUR NHS will also be affected :
The Chickens of PPP and PFI have come home to roost, facilities and provisions were taken away from Local Authorities, and Hospital Direct Labour organisations and the work was outsourced to Private Companies.

The Private Sector was considered to be superior to the inhouse provision, the Mantra of Public Bad, Private Sector Good echoed throughout the land.

What a total and utter travesty, we now have Thousands of small suppliers and Sub Contractors who are likely to go to the wall in the Aftermath of the Failure of Carillion.

Labour and Conservatives PFI is a Concept that is Dead in the Water, face up to how you need to Build and Finance Construction Projects. PPP & PFI RIP.

The NHS link ?

https://www.carillionplc.com/solutions/ ... ealthcare/

Truly frightening !
Following on from the PM's question time session yesterday , more on the cost of PFIs ... NHS not excluded :


PFI deals 'costing taxpayers billions'

Financing projects like schools and hospitals privately costs taxpayers billions of pounds more than public sector alternatives, parliament's spending watchdog says.

A report suggests a group of schools cost 40% more to build and a hospital 70% more to construct than if they were financed by government borrowing.

That is according to a report from the National Audit Office (NOA).

The Treasury said PFI contracts ensured risk was borne by the private sector.

The NAO found 716 public projects were active under PFI and its successor PF2, with annual costs amounting to £10.3bn in 2016/17.

PFI projects will cost the taxpayer a further £199bn by the 2040s, it said.

The government said both PFI and PF2 improved public services.

The report was written before the collapse of Carillion, which held numerous public contracts, including those under PFI, from building schools to maintaining prisons and highways.

PFI contracts were first introduced under John Major's Conservative government.

Under such deals private consortiums build facilities like schools, hospitals and roads, in return for regular payments over as many as 30 years.

Their use proliferated under Tony Blair's Labour government, but PFIs fell out of favour after the 2008 financial crisis, as the cost of private finance increased and as questions were raised over the costs of using this model.

Since then the Departments for Health and Education have used the new PF2s which the Treasury argues is more transparent and "better value for money".

"Taxpayer money is protected... as the risks of construction and long-term maintenance of a project are transferred to the private sector," a Treasury spokesperson said.

However, the NAO said there had never been a "robust evaluation" of the benefits.

It said the expected spend on one group of schools financed by PF2 were around 40% higher than the costs of a similar project financed by government borrowing.

It also said Treasury Committee analysis from 2011 estimated the cost of a privately financed hospital was 70% higher than a comparative project in the public sector.

The watchdog identified "additional costs compared to publicly financed procurement" incurred using PFIs.

For example, it said the capital raised through PFI cost 2% to 3.75% more compared to state borrowing.

"Small changes to the cost of capital can have a significant impact on costs," the report said.

"Paying off a debt of £100m over 30 years with interest of 2% costs £34m in interest. At 4% this more than doubles to £73m."

In the past PFI deals have been accused of leading to huge cost overruns and indebting NHS trusts.

The union UNISON called the report "a scathing indictment of all that is wrong with PFI".

Meg Hillier MP, chair of the Public Accounts Committee, said the NAO had found "little evidence" that PFI's benefits offset its costs.

"Many local bodies are now shackled to inflexible PFI contracts that are exorbitantly expensive to change," she said.

At Prime Minister's Questions on Wednesday, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn urged the government to end the "costly racket" of private sector firms running public services.

The government said PFI and PF2 had funded vital infrastructure projects like roads, schools and hospitals and had helped the economy.

Follow the money ... private companies ... directors / shareholders are benefiting at the expenses of us , the tax payers.
More on PFIs from this morning's Independent :

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/busin ... 65106.html

Taxpayers to foot £200bn bill for PFI contracts, National Audit Office finds.

‘Carillion is just the latest example of how bad things go wrong when public services are left in the hand of profit-hungry companies.’

The Government faces a £200bn bill for hospitals and schools for funded by controversial Private Finance Initative, a spending watchdog’s report has found.

The National Audit Office (NAO) found 716 deals are currently operational under PFI and its successor PF2, with annual charges amounting to £10.3bn in 2016/17 – and due to stretch into the 2040s.

The report was compiled before the collapse of contractor Carillion, but its release came as the construction giant’s failure sparked furious debate about the future of a system which Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn denounced as a “costly racket”.

Mr Corbyn told Theresa May at Prime Minister’s Questions in the House of Commons: “These corporations need to be shown the door. We need our public services provided by public employees with a public service ethos and a strong public oversight.”

And one union said the scale of payments revealed by the NAO should mean the “game is up” for PFI.

The NAO drew no conclusions on the merits of the PFI and PF2 systems, under which private consortiums raise funding to build public facilities like schools, hospitals and roads, in return for regular payments over as many as 30 years.

But it found that the private finance route “results in additional costs compared to publicly financed procurement”.

The Government’s National Infrastructure Plan suggested in 2010 that capital raised through PFI cost 2 per cent to 3.75 per cent more than from state borrowing, the NAO said.

It added: “Small changes to the cost of capital can have a significant impact on costs. Paying off a debt of £100m over 30 years with interest of 2 per cent costs £34m in interest. At 4 per cent this more than doubles to £73m.”

The report said there had not yet been a “robust evaluation” of whether this was offset, as PFI supporters claim, by benefits such as reduced risk to the taxpayer and higher-quality facilities.

The chair of the influential House of Commons Public Accounts Committee, Meg Hillier, said that, 25 years after it was launched under John Major, there was “little evidence” that PFI was delivering value for money.

“Many local bodies are now shackled to inflexible PFI contracts that are exorbitantly expensive to change,” the Labour MP said. “I am concerned that the Treasury has relaunched PFI under new branding, without doing anything about most of its underlying problems.

“We need more investment in our schools and hospitals but if we get the contracts wrong, taxpayers pay the price.”

The national secretary of the GMB union, Rehana Azam, said the report showed PFI to be “a catastrophic waste of taxpayers’ money”.

He added: “Nothing can hide the chronic failure that it has proven to be over decades. Carillion is just the latest example of how bad things go wrong when public services are left in the hands of profit-hungry companies. This report should mean that the game is up for PFI.”

A Government spokesman said: “Many vital infrastructure projects like roads, schools and hospitals are paid for by PFI and PF2, stimulating our economy, creating jobs and delivering better public services. We have reformed how we manage PFI contracts, and through PF2 have created a model which improves transparency and offers better value for money.

“Taxpayer money is protected through PFI and PF2, as the risks of construction and long-term maintenance of a project are transferred to the private sector.”

The figures quoted speak for themselves.

Many PFIs will still be a liability for our grandchildren ... and their grandchildren.
PFI s were wrong from day one. Any one who had half a brain and could add up could have seen it.
I have no time for any politician or civil servant crying wolf now.
We should all be crying "Shame on you"
Any readers from Merseyside seeing this one first hand ?

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-m ... e-45637057

Stalled Royal Liverpool Hospital PFI deal could be ditched.

The Private Finance Initiative (PFI) deal to build the new £335m Royal Liverpool Hospital could be scrapped following the collapse of Carillion.

The trust that runs the hospital refused to confirm reports the Government would take over but said an option to "terminate" the project agreement will be discussed later.

Work on the hospital halted in February when the construction giant folded.

The Department of Health and Social Care called the reports "speculation".

A Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust spokesman said its board would discuss several options and added it aimed to restart building as soon as possible.

Earlier this month trust chiefs admitted the Royal might not be finished until at least the middle of 2020.

Liverpool Walton Labour MP Dan Carden has previously called for the hospital to brought into public ownership.

"If this is true it is very good news," he said.

PFI was first introduced in the 1990s by Conservative Prime Minister John Major and continued by successive governments.

Under the controversial policy, private companies finance and build facilities such as schools, hospitals and roads in return for regular payments over as many as 30 years.

Carillion was involved in dozens of PFI projects from new rail lines and electrification, to road widening and bypass schemes, as well as building two major hospitals and a city centre redevelopment.

The company was accused of "greed" at this week's Labour Party Conference in Liverpool.

Dave Prentis, the leader of Britain's second largest union UNISON, said the Royal Liverpool Hospital site had become "an epic monument to failure".

A report by the government's spending watchdog in January said the annual costs of PFI projects amounted to £10.3bn in 2016/17 and would cost the taxpayer a further £199bn by the 2040s,

( By Claire Hamilton, Political Reporter, BBC Radio Merseyside )

A bit of good news on the future of the Royal Liverpool Hospital appears tantalisingly close.

Labour MPs and local political leaders have been banging the drum all week at the party's conference, maximising the impact of having this unfinished "monument to greed" (to quote Walton's Dan Carden) on their doorstep.

They claim that once again, a crisis in the north is being ignored. A public meeting last week heard from staff at the existing hospital who said it was failing fast.

Mayor Joe Anderson described how, at a recent check-up, he'd seen a bin overflowing with water from a leaking air conditioning unit.

Local councillors say the 1970s building sitting alongside what should be a fully-functioning 21st Century hospital is a daily reminder of the impact the collapse of Carillion is having on ordinary people's lives

A review of the final cost and timescale to complete the Royal Liverpool project was expected to finish by the end of October, the trust spokesman said.

A Department of Health and Social Care spokeswoman said it was committed to getting the hospital built as quickly as possible and was working with all parties involved to find a solution "which minimises further delays and ensures value for money".

She added: "The trust's board is meeting today to review the situation, and we expect to have an update on the next steps thereafter."

" Chickens " coming home to roost ... after the vultures have picked the bones clean ?

PFI ... what will future historians make of it ?

Another way for the rich to get richer at the expense of the taxpayer ... me thinks ?
The knock on effects of PFI ... private companies ... when they screw the taxpayers and leave a trail of dead bodies behind :

Insolvencies in UK building firms rise 20% after Carillion collapse.

Small and medium-sized subcontractors hit particularly hard, says new report.

The collapse of construction group Carillion earlier this year triggered a 20% spike in the the number of UK building firms becoming insolvent, according to a report.

In a devastating knock-on effect for the sector, a total of 780 companies in the industry fell into insolvency in the first quarter of 2018 – a one-fifth rise on the same period the previous year – the analysis by accountancy firm Moore Stephens revealed. In total there were 2,764 insolvency casualties among building firms in the 2017-18 financial year, up by 6% on the previous 12 months.

Carillion filed for bankruptcy in January after its stock market value slumped 90% on the news it had racked up debts of about £1bn and was struggling to fill a £600m hole in its pension fund.

At the time, the Wolverhampton-based company – the UK’s second largest building firm – had more than 19,000 employees, many working on Whitehall-commissioned contracts to build roads, schools and hospitals.

Following its high-profile liquidation, thousands of subcontractors lost major contracts and were left reeling with substantial debts, Moore Stephens said. Ministers were accused of realising too late that the company was in financial difficulties and then making matters worse by offering fresh contracts in an attempt to bolster investor confidence.
Another one about to bite the dust ?

Interserve : Major government contractor " Seeks second rescue deal. "

One of the UK's largest providers of public services is seeking a rescue deal as it struggles with £500m of debt, according to the Financial Times.

Interserve, which works in prisons, schools, hospitals and on the roads, said it might look for new investment or sell off part of the business.

Workers at the Foreign Office and the NHS are among Interserve's tens of thousands of UK employees.

The government said it supported the company's long-term recovery plan.

The Financial Times reported that the company was looking for a deal to refinance its debt which would mean lenders taking a significant loss while public shareholders would be "virtually wiped out".

Its share price dropped to a 30-year low last month.

Despite lucrative contracts in the Middle East and its wide range of work in the UK, the company has continued to lose money since March, when it agreed an earlier rescue deal.

Its troubles have been blamed on cancellations and delays in its construction contracts as well as struggling waste-to-energy projects in Derby and Glasgow.