Where is the money for Future Fit coming from?
The vast majority of funding for Future Fit will be a very expensive loan. One that will have to be paid back.
The consultation materials for the Future Fit consultation reads like the funding for its proposals is a grant with no future consequences.
But it is not. The vast majority of this will be a very expensive loan which will have to be paid back.
In February of this year, there was confirmation that ‘Future Fit’ was getting £312 million to pay for the scheme, paving the way for the consultation to begin.
No-one, not local health bosses, nor the Department of Health which announced the funding, said this would be a loan.
The truth is – of the £312 million, £200 million would come ‘Public Dividend Capital’, a loan, while at least another £50-100 million would come from private finance – again loans. Given the recent history of private finance in the public sector, people must be asking whether this is what they want for their hospital services.
None of this is clear in the consultation documents and the public have a right to know. The NHS would have to pay the money back but Option 1 would saddle them with many millions of pounds in interest payments for many decades to come decades than Option 2. This is money that could be spent on more GPs and nurses.
Telford & Wrekin Council favours ‘Option 2’ which would preserve these emergency services in Telford and concentrate planned care in Shrewsbury. Option 2 would cost £63 million less for same services and lower interest payments.
This difference in the cost of borrowing less money would mean at least £3.3 million every year could be spent on more GPs and nurses, more money would be available to invest in community services, there’d even be enough for a new cancer unit at Princess Royal Hospital to give many people undergoing chemotherapy treatment much closer to home.
Next week we will be going into greater detail on how we think Option 2 is the option that will get the most and best for the money for everybody in Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin and Mid Wales.