High P3 maintenance costs shortchange patients: Conservative MP

More complaints about the high cost of basic maintenance in "public private partnership" (P3) hospitals are coming.

This time, Dr. Dan Poulter, the Conservative Party British Member of Parliament for North Ipswich and Ventral Suffolk, has complained about the costs of "odd jobs" in the local P3 hospital. P3 hospital deals typically require the contracted private company to provide maintenance in the hospital -- rather than regular public hospital staff.

EADT24 reports that the hospital paid £120 ($190) for contractors to assess a door which had given someone a static shock. After investigating, the maintenance firm said the door was not its responsibility, but the hospital was still forced to pay for the call-out.  Since 2008 there have been 14 call-outs to replace the glass on a fire alarm costing £1,680 ($2,650).

Dr Poulter said: “Patients are being short-changed because of this, money which should be being spent on them is being spent on these fees. It is crippling our finances and at a time when the hospital faces 250 redundancies, this is not a fair deal for the hard-working doctors and nurses."

Dr. Poulter adds:“I think the fact that so much is being spent on these maintenance jobs shows that the management failed to negotiate the PFI (i.e. P3) deal properly.

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