MP Watts: Get a grip of hospital debt crisis

St Helens MP Dave Watts visited Billinge Chapel End primary school, Carr Mill Road, Billinge to talk to pupils about his Ethiopia appeal
St Helens MP Dave Watts visited Billinge Chapel End primary school, Carr Mill Road, Billinge to talk to pupils about his Ethiopia appeal
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ST Helens MP Dave Watts has blasted Health Secretary Andrew Lansley, telling him to “get a grip” of the financial problems plauging hospitals like Whiston and St Helens.

Mr Watts, who has been at the forefront of criticism of Mr Lansley’s approach to managing the NHS’s debt, lashed out during a fiery Commons debate.

The Labour Member of Parliament for St Helens North received a barrage of disapproval from the Tory bench but remained unbowed by his critics.

During a question on reducing the burden of debt for NHS hospitals, Mr Watts intervened, saying: “Will the Secretary of State get a grip and sort out the problems of PFI long-term funding, given the fact that the minister promised to do this six months ago and we are no nearer to a resolution than we were before?”

Mr Lansley seized on the remarks, maintaining the last Labour government left a “terrible legacy of unaffordable PFI projects”, which were “poor value for money”.

He said that “the last Labour government left a terrible legacy of unaffordable PFI projects, which were poor value for money when they were introduced”.

He added: “It is out of the work that has been done to resolve this poor legacy that we’ve identified 22 NHS trusts who themselves said their PFI was an impediment.”