Published: 17/02/2005, Volume II5, No. 5943 Page 12

Dartford and Gravesham Trust chief executive Sue Jennings said she was confident that the negotiated repayment deal will benefit the hospital and patients.

Ms Jennings, who is due to leave the trust next month, said: 'We are completely satisfied that the ongoing revenue gains of£2m per annum are of such significant benefit to the trust's ability to provide firstclass healthcare services to the local community, now and in the future, that they outweigh any other factors.' The trust has also accepted that there were 'teething problems' in the early days of running the new hospital. It admitted that the initial monitoring of the contract was 'subjective' and it has introduced a new monitoring system of the contractors with more rigorous benchmarking.