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MP - NHS debt write off "win" must come with testing and PPE investment

April 3, 2020 10:13 AM

Local MP Tim Farron has claimed a campaign victory as the Government announces it will write off over £13bn of NHS debt and he has called for investment in Covid-19 testing and PPE for NHS staff.

The announcement comes after Tim revealed last year through a freedom of information request that £607,404,854 worth of interest on outstanding debt was paid by NHS Trusts to the Department for Health and Social Care in the previous five years.

Locally, Morecambe Bay NHS Trust have been forced to pay more than £4m over the past three years - money which Tim argues should have been used to fund more doctors and nurses.

Tim said: "It should not have taken an international pandemic crisis for this to happen but it is very good news all the same.

"On top of these debts were huge interest rates that robbed our local hospitals of millions of pounds every year. The money should have been spent money on frontline services.

"We have long been pushing for the Government to axe these draconian interest rates. They cost our local hospitals trust the equivalent of running an entire radiotherapy unit every three years.

"We must now ensure funding is urgently directed towards the rollout of adequate PPE and testing for NHS and social care staff."