KGH has £167m debt written off

The debt write off will come as a welcome relief to the hospital's bosses.The debt write off will come as a welcome relief to the hospital's bosses.
The debt write off will come as a welcome relief to the hospital's bosses.
The Government has written off the debts of all hospital trusts to help them cope with the coronavirus pandemic.

Millions of pounds worth of debts have been written off for Kettering General Hospital NHS Trust as part of government plans to help the NHS during the coronavirus crisis.

Kettering General Hospital NHS Trust’s historic debts totalling more than £167 million have been cancelled as part of the £13.4 billion debt write off announced by the Health Secretary last week.

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From the start of this month, £3.4 billion of debt of NHS debt across 23 NHS Trusts in the Midlands will be wiped to take extra pressure off the health service.

Northampton General Hospital will have £107m written off and Kettering General Hospital’s debt write off is the ninth highest amount in the midlands.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “I’m pleased to confirm the value of this package for the Midlands. This £3.4 billion debt write off will wipe the slate clean and allow NHS hospitals to plan for the future and invest in vital services.”

NHS chief executive, Sir Simon Stevens, said: “We’ve advocated for and support this pragmatic move which will put NHS hospitals, mental health and community services in a stronger position – not just to respond to the immediate challenges of the global coronavirus pandemic, but also in the years ahead to deliver widespread improvements set out in our NHS Long Term Plan.”

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The debt cancellation will be a relief for the hospital’s senior bosses. Unlike local authorities, hospitals – which are often over capacity and struggling to cope with increased patients numbers as local populations grow – have been allowed to go into debt.

The hospital will have a £46m urgent care hub built after Government committed finding last October but this will not happen until 2024. Currently it serves a population of 330,000 across North Northamptonshire and South Leicestershire.

At the moment the majority of its focus is coping with and caring for the number of patients who are coming in through the doors with coronavirus.

Today official figures revealed that 12 more patients have died at the hospital over recent days – bringing the total deaths at KGH to 34.

The hospital has been contacted for comment about the debt write off.