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Plans to deliver £26 million savings across the 28 existing Private Finance Initiative (PFI) projects in NHS Scotland have been announced by Health Secretary Alex Neil today.

Today’s announcement is ‘the starting point’ of the Scottish Government’s drive to improve the cost effectiveness and transparency of PFI contracts.

The savings, which will be made over the remaining contract lifespans, will be put back into frontline services by the NHS.

They include a range of measures such as the use of LED lighting, which will alone save £56,000 a year through improved energy efficiency and reduced lifecycle maintenance costs.

Health boards will be supported to build on these saving by a national efficiency team, made up of finance and procurement experts.

The team will work with board to find new and innovative ways to save money and will drive these forward across the country.

Mr Neil said:

“Costly PFI contracts signed before 2007 have put considerable strain on the public finances in Scotland.

“That’s why we have ended use of PFI. Instead we have led the way in the UK by introducing the Non-Profit Distributing (NPD) model as a replacement for financing infrastructure.

“Unfortunately some health boards remain locked into long-term contracts with operators.

“That is why the Scottish Government is making every effort to ensure that taxpayers get full value for money by finding savings from PFI by tackling wasteful practice.

“We need to be tough with the PFI suppliers to deliver these savings, but we have a duty to the people of Scotland to do so. Our new programme has already identified £26 million in savings – but I determined this will simply be the starting point. Our new central team will be closely assessing contracts and ensuring we exploit every single avenue to save money.

“Not only will this protect the public purse, but it will also reduce costs so that we can continue to protect vital front line health services and deliver the best possible care for patients.”

Comments  

 
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Jo Bloggs
2014-03-17 09:01

Good on you, Alex Neil. As an occasional visitor to Scotland these days, I can vouch for the fact the NHS has improved enormously since the SNP came into government. It is now better than the public health service in Finland, which was certainly not the case when I moved here in the 1980s. Just think what could be achieved with Independence.
 
 
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John Souter
2014-03-17 10:50

Make the ‘investors’ squeal for their venal dividends and profits. Demand the highest level of maintenance and refurbishment and at the earliest opportunity define the property as no longer fit for purpose.

The building of a publicly owned hospital or school in the vicinity of a couple of theirs would have them all running to their lawyers worrying about the ‘security’ of their investment.
 
 
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hektorsmum
2014-03-17 11:19

Living as I do across from one of the later PFI schools I can assure the Scottish Public that not a stone lies unturned in the bid to create money for investors. Indeed I watched open mouthed as the rain fell down and some clever clogs was blowing the puddles off the playground. It would appear that the Prince and Princesses must never get wet feet. Well unless it will put money into the hands of the self same investors.
 
 
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gus1940
2014-03-20 07:31

When (not if) we become Independent can The Scottish Government not pass similar legislation as was passed by The Attlee Government when ther carried out Nationalisation which would allow the government to compulsorily buy out all the current PFI Projects in Scotland with the compensation being determined along the same lines as was done by The Attlee Government.

As the Independent Scottish Government
will have full borrowing powers the compensation can be funded by borrowing the money. I would be surprised if the interest on said borrowing was anything like as high as the current annual payments to the parasites of The PFI Providers as they no doubt borrowed the money to build the projects in the first place and will be paying interest on same.

Given the fact that public opinion is not exactly in favour of PFI Schemes would it not be a good vote catcher for YES if they were to announce now proposals to buy out all PFI schemes.
 

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