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£340m Addenbrooke’s Hospital debt written off, MP says

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Addenbrooke’s Hospital has had £340million worth of debt written off to help it deal with the Covid-19 pandemic, South Cambridgeshire’s MP has said.

Anthony Browne. Picture: Keith Heppell. (33211566)
Anthony Browne. Picture: Keith Heppell. (33211566)

Anthony Browne MP said on Twitter on Monday (April 6): “Great news that the government has written off Addenbrooke’s Hospital £340million debt. They can now fully focus on fighting coronavirus and delivering first class healthcare.”

The government announced on April 2 that it would remove the historic debt of more than 100 hospitals in order for them to best respond to the Covid-19 pandemic and to invest in maintaining frontline services and make longer-term infrastructure improvements.

The health secretary Matt Hancock said on the day of the government’s announcement: “As we tackle this crisis, nobody in our health service should be distracted by their hospital’s past finances.

“[The] £13.4 billion debt write-off will wipe the slate clean and allow NHS hospitals to plan for the future and invest in vital services.”

The precise details of the Addenbrooke’s debt write-off are yet to be confirmed.

Addenbrooke's Hospital - entrance to the Addenbrooke's Hospital site off Hills Road. (33211381)
Addenbrooke's Hospital - entrance to the Addenbrooke's Hospital site off Hills Road. (33211381)

Addenbrooke’s Hospital declined to confirm the details when it was contacted by the Local Democracy Reporting Service, citing a need to focus on handling the Covid-19 outbreak.

At the time of publication the Department of Health and Social Care did not respond to a request for details on the debt write-off.

The government’s announcement on the wider scheme said: “While many NHS trusts manage strong finances, under the existing rules, some took out loans to plug financial gaps in their day-to-day (revenue) or capital (infrastructure) budgets.

“107 trusts have an average of £100 million revenue debt each, with the two trusts with the highest debts reaching a combined total of over £1 billion.”

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