• Ian Dalton said government needs to replace the £3bn that was to be invested through new PFI deals
  • Chancellor announced the death of PFI and PF2 in the Budget last month

The government needs to set out what will replace the private finance initiative and the £3bn of capital it was expected to raise, the chief executive of NHS Improvement has said.

In the Budget last month, chancellor Philip Hammond said there would be no further PFI and PF2 projects. This was despite the government previously suggesting around £3bn of investment in NHS estates would be sought from private investors.

Mr Hammond did not rule out other kinds of public-private partnership, but there has since been uncertainty around future policy in this area.

At the Commons health and social care committee today, Ian Dalton, chief executive of NHSI, said there was now an “issue” around this.

He said: “Obviously the importance the NHS attaches to [the £3bn] is, if it’s not coming through PFI, we need to see that replaced as part of the settlement.”

Mr Dalton also said funding from the government’s £20.5bn revenue settlement for the health service should not be used to support services outside the NHS England ringfence, such as public health, social care, or workforce training.

He said these budgets should receive “appropriate” funding separately in the spending review.

He said NHSI and NHS England were forming plans that were based on there being no further cuts to Health Education England. He was not asked about the planning assumptions for other non-ringfenced budgets.

In his 2017 report, Sir Robert Naylor said around £10bn was needed to transform the NHS estate. In response, the Department of Health and Social Care suggested around £3bn of this would come from private sector investment.