Cllr Ravi Govindia welcomes landmark debt write-off for Wandsworth's NHS

Conservative Cllr Ravi Govindia, Leader of Wandsworth Council has welcomed the announcement that St George's University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust will benefit from a £315,013 debt write-off as part of the government’s announcement to scrap £13.4 billion of NHS debt across England.

Commenting on the announcement Cllr Ravi Govindia said: 

It’s fantastic to see that St George’s University Hospital Trust will now have over £300,000 of debt written off by the Government as part of the announcement to hit the reset button on NHS finances.

 

This will help to put medical and community services across Wandsworth in a stronger position not only to deal with the Coronavirus Pandemic in the short term, but on a stable footing in the long term too.

 

Wandsworth Council is determined to do whatever it takes to tackle Coronavirus and this announcement by the Government will provide the NHS in Wandsworth with the financial certainty it needs to respond to this deadly disease and to help save lives.

This debt write-off will rid more than a hundred NHS hospitals of historic debt, freeing them up to invest in maintaining vital services and longer-term infrastructure improvements. This announcement also comes alongside a new NHS funding model to make sure the NHS has the necessary funding and support to respond to the coronavirus pandemic.

The changes will provide much needed financial support during this unprecedented viral pandemic, as well as laying secure foundations for the longer-term commitments set out last year to support the NHS to become more financially sustainable.

This is part of a package of major reforms to the NHS financial system, designed in a collaboration between the Department of Health and Social Care and NHS England, which will begin from the start of the new financial year.

Trusts across Wandsworth will see a total of £315,013 of debt written off thanks to this move.

This package is launched in combination with a simpler internal payment system to help NHS trusts in dealing with the coronavirus response, which was agreed with NHS England last week.

This significant change will mean hospitals will get all the necessary funding to carry out their emergency response, despite many hospitals cancelling or limiting their usual services such as elective surgery or walk-in clinics due to the virus.

The Government continues to support and protect the NHS throughout the coronavirus outbreak, by:

  • Ensuring the NHS has any extra resources it needs to tackle the virus, including access to a £5 billion Covid-19 Response Fund.
  • Increasing the capacity of the NHS, with new, temporary NHS Nightingale Hospitals opening in London, Birmingham, Manchester, Bristol and Harrogate.
  • Providing free carparking for NHS workers at hospitals.
  • Bringing recently retired doctors and nurses back into the NHS to help bolster our fight against coronavirus.

 

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said:

As we tackle this crisis, nobody in our health service should be distracted by their hospital’s past finances.

This £13.4 billion debt write off will wipe the slate clean and allow NHS hospitals to plan for the future and invest in vital services.

I remain committed to providing the NHS with whatever it needs to tackle coronavirus, and the changes to the funding model will give the NHS immediate financial certainty to plan and deliver their emergency response.