Jason Zemmel and Jonathan Lisle, healthcare partners, CMS Cameron McKenna

PPP hospitals are the financially healthy choice

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Readers' comments (4)

  • You could at least have done a basic check. It's Whittington hospital, not Whittingdon. It doesn't inspire much confidence in the rest of your argument,

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  • Reading this wonderfully objective and non-conflicted article, has convinced me that PPP is definitely the financially healthy choice to increase PEP for specialist healthcare lawyers. Taking liabilities off the balance sheet worked so well for the City so let's do the same in the NHS.

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  • Two or three comments and criticisms.

    If increasingly commercial partnerships are to occur, there has to be an overhaul of the process by which they are entered into. The PPP tender process takes forever - up to 36 months, and the NAO thinks it should be half that. As it stands, this process is anti-competitive in itself because it requires massive investment on the part of bidders, for potentially zero return.

    Associated with this (and perhaps conflicting with it), there needs to be really careful planning and drafting on the part of the 'public' side of the equation, otherwise trusts risk being held over a barrel. PPPs involving NHS assets, particularly land, may be too readily entered into, particularly if there is to be a swift £20billion saving in NHS. Short term economic gain otherwise can become long term ransom.

    Finally, where is the place of patient care in your argument? Several PFI hospital contracts have had to be negotiated as quality outcomes have not been reached. Equally of the twelve hospitals highlighted by Dr Foster as being in the worst band for patient safety, six are either FT hospitals or applying for foundation trust status, suggesting a commercial approach doesn't always reconcile what hospitals are 'for' with how they can do it economically. Basildon and Mid Staffs are both FT hospitals, and home to two of the worst hygiene and care scandals in recent history.

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  • "PPP - making your balance sheet happy today and hoping tomorrow never comes!"

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