A private finance initiative hospital which opened seven months ago has been forced to undergo a redesign to meet the requirements of the NHS plan.
Calderstone and Huddersfield trust has admitted that the redesign has contributed to a£4.28m deficit which is being addressed with help from a team from Northern and Yorkshire regional office and accountants KPMG.
The regional office has already written off over£10m of trust debts as part of a three-year plan announced last month.
In a statement, the trust said the increasing debt was due in part to a redesign to create ward areas with no more than four beds, and ensure 25 per cent of patients stay in single rooms with en suite facilities. The changes were necessary to 'fit' the NHS plan, to meet the government's commitment to get rid of Nightingale wards and to meet the NHS infection control agenda: 'But improved ward environments and layouts require extra staffing.'
Critics argued that the original PFI project, with a 1994 design and build price of£34m, did not have the capacity to replace three existing hospitals. Now the total PFI price, including design and build, interest-rate mark-ups and other financial add-ons, has risen to£103m including extended women and children's services, a postgraduate centre, chapel and additional café.
'These changes are not currently financed and have added to the trust's overall deficit, ' the trust says.
It also admits that efficiency savings from moving to one acute site 'have not yet been fully realised. A number of service developments to ensure patients are appropriately cared for in a brand new state-of-the-art hospital have not yet received recurrent funding'.
The trust cites eight areas of overspend including unplanned additional staff, service developments to adjust for new hospital bed reductions, extra maintenance and support costs and additional rental payments to the PFI partner, Catalyst.
Calderdale community health council chief officer Judith Salter said she viewed the situation with 'grave concern'.
'We are pressing the trust and health authority to involve us in any discussions on a recovery plan.'
Catalyst chief executive Michael Davis told HSJ that any new charges would be small. 'There have been some changes, due to changes in NHS requirements.
These have been dealt with under the variations procedure.'