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 (WAHT) battle the coronavirus crisis.
WAHT had been looking at an ongoing debt of £80million alone for the 2019/20 financial year but this immediately releases an extra £9.2m in capital spending instead of the £2.2m WAHT would have been expecting.
Mid Worcestershire MP Nigel Huddleston welcomed the write-off and said: “I and the other Worcestershire MPs have been in close contact with the Acute Trust leadership team throughout the coronavirus crisis.
“I am pleased that over £13billion of NHS debt has been written off by the Government to help the NHS at this difficult time.
“It is part of a package of measures including a simpler internal payment system and additional capital investment facilities that will help trusts, including the Worcestershire Acute Trust, deal with coronavirus.
“I would like to thank all our NHS and social care workers for all they are doing to keep us and our loved ones safe.
“They have received a well-deserved outpouring of love and support from a grateful nation.”
The £13billion write off is part of a package of major reforms to the NHS financial system and begins now, at the start of the new financial year to help NHS trusts deal with the coronavirus response.
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, extra cash needed by hospitals will be given by the Government with equity, rather than by borrowing and repaying 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 pandemic.