DoH 'considers dropping private finance initiative for NHS buildings'

The government is considering ditching private finance initiative (PFI) as its main way of funding new health buildings, Lord Darzi has hinted.

The PFI involves farming out the funding and management of public buildings to private contractors. The DoH has used the PFI to build dozens of new hospitals over the last 10 years.

But the model has remained controversial, with many observers convinced it delivers worse value than public money and has been favoured purely to disguise costs.

Now Lord Darzi has hinted that the government is reconsidering its position.

‘That model of funding may have been the right model,’ he told the BMA. ‘But I have no doubt that the Department [of Health] will be appraising whether that it is still the model for the future or whether there are other, better models.’

He added, ‘Quality is a moving target and PFIs have been very successful and might be in the future but it needs to be looked at.’

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