By Claire West

UNISON, the UK’s leading public sector union, has warned that Private finance initiative (PFI) costs were adding to huge financial pressures on hospital trusts, after new figures revealed the contracts would cost the NHS a total of £65 billion.

UNISON General Secretary, Dave Prentis, said:

“UNISON said right from the start that PFI costs far more than publically funded projects. PFI ties trusts into long-term, inflexible contracts, and saddles hospitals with huge debts, wasting money that should be going towards patient care.

“The contracts leave little room for manoeuvre, which is problematic when you consider trusts are facing huge demands for efficiency savings.

“PFI is not just a matter for hospitals, many schools, libraries and prisons are also caught up in the dilemma of servicing expensive contracts at the same time as their budgets are being cut. PFI costs will increase the pressure to cut services in order to save money.”