A rip-off private finance initiative (PFI) has pushed Peterborough's NHS trust to the "brink of bankruptcy," it emerged today.
Campaigners are demanding a full inquiry into the "disastrous" contract.
The National Audit Office revealed that the PFI-built £411 million Peterborough City Hospital brought with it crippling repayments that totalled a huge £41.6m last year.
In turn it has placed "considerable strain" on Peterborough and Stamford NHS Foundation Trust's finances as it seeks to make £64m of spending cuts by 2017, the NAO said.
Doubts over the trust's ability to meet repayments without services suffering had been raised but ignored before construction began in 2007.
NAO head Amyas Morse has demanded "urgent action" from the trust, the Department of Health and regulators.
He added: "The trust board's poor financial management and procurement of an unaffordable PFI scheme have left it in a critical financial position."
Health union Unison eastern region is calling for a full inquiry into the decision which has brought it to the "brink of bankruptcy."
Unison pointed out that the trust only has cash to pay its bills until the end of November.
And the trust has admitted the cost of PFI - at more than 20 per cent of its declining budget - is unaffordable.
NAO's findings come weeks after the Pure Financial Incompetence report into PFI by Health Emergency campaign group director John Lister.
The report assesses the impact of PFI on hospital Trusts in the east of England.
It says three major schemes in Norwich, Peterborough and Chelmsford cost £642m to build but will rinse the taxpayer for £4.25 billion by the time the contract is paid off in 2043.
Unison eastern region's head of health Tracey Lambert said: "Jobs and patient care are being sacrificed to keep PFI projects afloat and keep profits flowing to bankers and private equity investors - that can't be right."
A Department of Health spokesman admitted: "Peterborough and Stamford is another example where PFI policy went badly wrong."
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