One of the effects of propping up the finances of most NHS trusts using loans from the Department of Health and Social Security, which have in most cases already become impossible to repay, is that trusts wind up saddled with an additional chronic annual burden of interest payments.

In fact the weaker the finances of the trust, the harder it is for them to repay the loans that keep them going. Back in 2017 research by the HSJ showed that while for some interest rates were as low as 1%, the rate was much higher for the more indebted trusts, with rates as high as 6%.

£205m per year

Now i-news has published updates from Freedom of Information enquiries which reveal trusts are paying out over £205m a year in interest (which it equates to the salaries for 7,500 nurses), and that the rising annual bill stacks up to £607m over the past five years.

According to the i, nearly a third of the 184 trusts with loans have rates of 3.5 per cent or more, even though the Government is currently able to borrow money for a decade at just 0.7 per cent in annual interest.

Worse still these loans have been taken out after huge sums allocated to capital spending has been diverted into keeping day to day services running. According to the HSJ three quarters of the money from land sales has also been diverted into revenue budgets.

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