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Foundation Hospitals

Volume 407: debated on Monday 23 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to his Answer of 9 June, ref.116290, if he will make a statement on the difference in the cost to a foundation hospital accessing an amount of capital via loans they will be expected to repay as compared to the charge another health organisation accessing capital through the Department of Health and strategic health authorities would have to meet for borrowing the same amount. [118856]

The principal way national health service foundation trusts will access capital will be through borrowing from private or public lenders. The difference in cost to the NHS foundation trust of this borrowing, compared to the charges they would pay as a NHS trust accessing capital through a strategic health authority, will depend upon the interest rate at which they borrow. I anticipate that the financing facility, which the Department of Health will make available, will lend at rates not dissimilar to the prevailing rate for the National Loans Fund.