An NHS trust has found itself £15 million in the hole following the liquidation of a private firm.
Imperial College Healthcare Trust is listed as a creditor of London International Hospital Limited, which commenced winding up proceedings on 30 March.
Ravenscourt Park Hospital in west London has been sublet to the company since 2007, with a fifteen-year new lease having been taken on the property into 2002.
Companies House documents indicate that investors Bhanu Choudhrie and Sudhir Choudhrie are the directors of the company.
The company’s financial statements for the year up to March 2016, published this April, said: “With the company unable to reach a financial close on new investment, on 20 May 2016 the company board concluded that it lacked sufficient confidence in a successful outcome to continue. The company terminated the remaining site service contracts and on 4 July 2016 Imperial College Healthcare Trust re-entered the hospital site, ending the current lease.”
The company similarly made an application for a creditors voluntary arrangement, but this failed due to a lack of support.
In July 2015, it was reported VPS Healthcare, a private company based in the United Arab Emirates. had acquired the lease for the site for an “undisclosed sum” from LIH, and the hospital would be “completely revamped, redesigned and renamed to offer the most advanced medical treatments available anywhere in the world”.
There are thus numerous questions over the financial difficulties that the trust faces.
A company spokesman suggested that financial difficulties have led to the liquidation of the firm.
“Since the closure of Ravenscourt Park Hospital in 2006, LIH and Imperial College Healthcare Trust have made repeated efforts to find an appropriate future for the building without success. London International Hospitals Limited initiated liquidation as a result in March 2017, after it became clear that plans to build a world leading cancer hospital on the site were just not feasible under the circumstances.”
NHS trusts accumulated financial deficits in the region of £800 million in the most recent financial year.