A failed private health venture has left a London NHS trust with a multi-million pound bill and no way to pay it.
Princess Royal University Hospital in Orpington had agreed a 10-year deal to build a £4.2m, 25-bed unit and rent it to Ramsay Health Care UK for £500,000 a year.
But Ramsay has pulled out after less than two years, leaving South London Healthcare trust to foot the bill.
It had inherited an £87m debt from Bromley Hospitals trust, which had signed the Ramsay deal in 2007, but cannot use the now empty private ward without impacting on its NHS budget.
A spokeswoman said: “The private patient unit was not a commercial success, but we still want value for money for our patients.” She added that the trust is “considering proposals of how best to use the facility in the future”.