NHS in talks over £10bn hedge fund boost - report
The NHS could borrow up to £10bn from hedge funds in a bid to finance building repairs and infrastructure projects across the service, according to The Times.
The move would allow the health service to benefit from the “golden opportunity” of low interest rates to receive a cash injection that would avoid dipping in to the Treasury’s budget, it is claimed.
The newspaper reports Jim Mackey, chief executive of the financial regulator NHS Improvement, is to meet Government officials to persuade them to sign off on the private borrowing plan.
The NHS could expect to receive similar interest rates to the 1.1% available to the government for 10-year loans.
Mr Mackey told the paper: “We have to be realistic because we are not going to get a £10bn cheque to pay for all the transformation under way and the massive maintenance backlog, so we need to think long and hard about another way.
“Historically low interest rates are a golden opportunity for the NHS but we are constrained by rigid rules around borrowing that prevent us from taking action.”
But Jonathan Ashworth, the Shadow Health Secretary, said: “It’s shocking that NHS leaders are in secret negotiations with hedge fund bosses… Theresa May has refused to respond to the needs of crumbling hospitals, ageing equipment or provide the necessary investment in community facilities.”