NHS Hospitals have been charged £81m in interest by the government at a rate far in excess of inflation, according to official figures.
The figures, revealed to the Liberal Democrats in a parliamentary question, showed the NHS Bank charged hospitals interest at a rate of 5.6%, even though the Bank of England currently charges rates of 0.5%.
One hospital in north Bristol has been charged almost £5m in interest since the loan was taken out.
Liberal Democrat shadow health secretary, Norman Lamb, said: ‘How can the government justify ripping off hospitals in this way? It should end this unfair practice of charging loan shark rates.
‘With rates having plummeted elsewhere, they should treat hospitals fairly. This money should be spent on patients, equipment or recruiting staff.’
To find out how much your hospital has paid the government in interest, click on the attached word document.
Should the government cut interest rates on loans for hospitals?