Published: 20/12/2001, Volume III, No.5786 Page 23

I am flattered that HSJ quoted my comments to the Commons health select committee ('MP says private links must be cut', pages 6-7, 22 November) about the private finance initiative. I should be grateful if you could quote me verbatim. My main points were:

We are very happy with the new PFI-funded hospital building.

We would not have got a new hospital for many years unless we had gone down the PFI route.

There are affordability pressures as a result of our PFI scheme, though the business case demonstrated marginally better value for money then a Treasury scheme.

Several years ago when we negotiated the deal, we were under significant pressure to drive beds out of the system, but I believe this would have been the case regardless of whether we were pursuing a Treasury or a PFI funding solution.

PFI has its strengths and its weaknesses: We have signed a 35year deal, and It is too soon to be conclusive.

Jane Herbert Chief executive South Manchester University Hospitals trust