The Royal Surrey has recently formed a company HPL which it 100% owns. It has transferred to this company ownership of all its medical equipment (£ multi-million) including linear accelerators. The company has taken over responsibility for all equipment maintenance and the procurement of any new equipment which it will similarly own. Staff in the hospital who were responsible for these functions have been transferred and are now employees of HPL. The Chief Executive is Alf Turner who was the hospital director responsible for these matters.
Why has this been done? It is expected that the new company will manage maintenance and procurement better and more efficiently with a projected saving of approx. £1.5 million per year albeit is not clear why this could not have been achieved by the same people employed within the hospital. Very significantly there will be a saving this year related to VAT of approx. £2 million. It is a very strange world where a NHS hospital can in essence avoid VAT by such means but other hospitals are doing it !! Whilst I understand HMRC are reviewing these arrangements they are of course legal and will financially benefit the hospital.