Hospital PFI ‘to incorporate fire station'

A health trust that had entered into negotiations to buy out its hospital PFI may now look to accommodate a fire station as a way to offset some of the costs.

The Northumbria Healthcare Foundation Trust is now discussing changes to its PFI deal that would allow the local council to build a fire station on the site alongside the hospital, with the authority then sharing in the cost of the annual PFI repayments.

“Discussions regarding the possibility of relocating the fire station to the site of Hexham General Hospital are at a very early stage and will be discussed by our board next week,” a spokesperson told local press.

In August last year, regulator Monitor granted approval in principle for Northumbria Healthcare to enter into negotiations to buy out its PFI contract using a £120m loan from Northumberland County Council.