12 August 2010
Richard Stein and Rosa Curling of Leigh Day & Co Solicitors are instructed by Mr Semoff, a local community health activist, who argues that rebuilding the Royal Liverpool Hospital by way of a PFI will be far more expensive than using conventional public procurement. He argues the Secretary of State for Health has acted unreasonably in approving an Outline Business Case (OBC) for the PFI scheme, which is based on economically unsound and irrational assumptions, conflicting with the Treasury’s own guidance on the use of PFIs.
”I recently spent four months in the Royal and would very much welcome a new hospital but I am very concerned that PFI debt will interfere with health care provision across Merseyside in the coming years,” says Mr Semoff, a member of Merseyside Keep Our NHS Public. "The proposed PFI scheme is an expensive and inefficient way to build our new hospital. Paying more for the rebuild than is required will necessarily result in a cut to NHS services and staff wages. This must not be allowed to happen."
An independent expert instructed by Leigh Day concurs with Mr Semoff’s view. Public health economist Mark Hellowell, of Edinburgh University has submitted a statement to the court highlighting six major assumptions contained in the OBC (in particular, profitability for investors, loan interest rates, cost escalation, transaction and lifecycle costs, and third party funding), which are unjustified or contradicted by evidence from other hospital PFI schemes. Correcting any of these errors results in a conclusion that PFI is not better Value for Money and it would be much cheaper to fund the rebuild by way of conventional public procurement.
For further information, please contact Rosa Curling or Richard Stein on 020 7650 1200.
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