Money spent by hospitals to cover private finance initiative debts is rising at an alarming 18 per cent each year, findings showed today.
NHS trusts spent £459m repaying PFI debts in 2009/10 but the figure soared almost £200m to a huge £628.7m in 2011/2012, according to the Nuffield Trust.
Reasons for the rocketing payments included a new hospitals being built under PFI and interest payment debts, the report said.
PFI schemes, first introduced in 1992, let the private sector finance the design, building and operation of hospitals, which are then leased back to the NHS.
Debts have become "a particular burden" to some NHS trusts with interest payments at seven trusts as high as 5 per cent of their total revenue.
South London Healthcare NHS Trust (SLHT) was put into administration last year after struggling with crippling PFI repayments.
The report showed that SLHT's interest payments accounted for 6 per cent of its total spending.
More worryingly two trusts paid a higher percentage of their total revenue on PFI debt interest payments.
Dartford and Gravesend NHS trusts spent 7.9 per cent of revenue on PFI repayments, and Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust spent 7 per cent.
The report also states that trusts in London spent £143.9 million on PFI repayments in 2011/12, five times more than spending in the south-west of England.
British Medical Association chairman Dr Mark Porter said the report provides further evidence of the "significant financial pressures" that NHS organisations are facing.
"Our concern is that the quality of care, which is what matters above all else, is not sacrificed in the drive for greater efficiency," he said.
A Department of Health spokesman added: "NHS trusts are being helped to manage their contracts and identify where savings can be made to reduce the burden of PFI costs."
If you appreciated this article then please consider donating to the Morning Star's Fighting Fund to ensure we can keep developing your paper.
Donate to the Fighting Fund here
George Osborne's advice from the International Monetary Fund is like the curate's egg - good in parts.
George Tapp suffered horrific injuries when he was run down last week at a demo against blacklisting in construction. He tells the Star why he's as determined as ever to carry on struggling for justice
The government wants to ramp up Western involvement in the Syrian conflict but the cost will be more violence and instability in the region