THE LOCAL health trust has had £321million in debt written off by the Government.
The move, part of a £13billion debt write off by the Department of Health and Social Care, comes as staff at Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust battle the coronavirus crisis, has been welcomed by local health chiefs.
It means an immediate cash boost for the Trust, which had been looking at an ongoing debt of £80million alone for the 2019/20 financial year, which ended this month.
At a stroke the move releases an extra £9.2m in capital spending instead of the £2.2m WAHT would have been expecting.
Former Chancellor and Bromsgrove MP Sajid Javid said: “Whatever resources the NHS needs, it will get.
“As a result of this decision, Worcestershire Acute Hospital Trust will get an immediate cash boost, including an extra £9.2m in capital spending.
“This will allow the Trust to focus on fighting the pandemic, as well as to invest in improvements for its long-term future.
“Alongside my fellow Worcestershire MPs, I have been having conversations with the Health Secretary for a number of months on this issue.
“I’m pleased he has listened, and acted in the best interests of the Trust.
“I would like once again to thank the fantastic staff working on the front lines of our NHS. You are doing wonderful, life-saving work.
“The people of Worcestershire will forever be grateful.”
The decision to write off more than £13billion of debt is part of a package of major reforms to the NHS financial system and begins from the start of the new financial year.
The package is launched in combination with a simpler internal payment system to help NHS trusts in dealing with the coronavirus response, which was agreed with NHS England last week.
It also means hospitals can get the necessary funding to carry out their emergency response, despite many hospitals cancelling or limiting their usual services such as elective surgery or walk-in clinics due to the virus.
Under the new rules the government should hospitals need extra cash this will be given with equity, rather than needing to borrow from the government and repay a loan.
The moves comes on top of the capital facility launched in February to ensure the NHS has access to whatever extra capital investment it needs, without charges, to respond to the Covid-19 outbreak.