Patient watchdog questions Pembury Hospital PFI value

Pembury Hospital The new Pembury Hospital, near Tunbridge Wells, has 512 single rooms and 10 wards

Related Stories

The governor of a patients' watchdog has questioned the value for money of a new hospital in west Kent.

The £225m Pembury Hospital, near Tunbridge Wells, was built through a private finance initiative (PFI).

John Ashelford, the governor of Kent Link, said under the terms of the agreement, the NHS must make payments of £20m a year for 32 years.

The Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust said PFI was the only way to get the hospital built.

The 512-bed hospital has 10 wards and was built alongside the old hospital, which will be demolished this year.

'No guarantee'

PFI allows public bodies to avoid paying upfront costs for new buildings or major redevelopments.

Private firms fund projects, while the public sector makes repayments over 30 or 40 years.

Mr Ashelford said the repayments were a "massive commitment".

He said: "It's £20m a year but every year it's going to be indexed by inflation and the numbers will keep growing.

"There's no guarantee that the funding they receive from the public purse will match that increase."

In a statement, the trust said: "The cost of PFIs is well documented.

"PFI was the only method available to fund a much-needed new hospital."

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC Kent



10 °C 4 °C


  • Witley Court in Worcestershire Abandoned mansions

    What happened to England's lost stately homes?

  • Tray of beer being carried10 Things

    Beer is less likely to slosh than coffee, and other nuggets

  • Spoon and buckwheatSoul food

    The grain that tells you a lot about Russia's state of mind

  • Woman readingWeekendish

    The best reads you need to catch up on

  • Salim Rashid SuriThe Singing Sailor

    The young Omani who became a prewar fusion music hit

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.