PFI hospital maintenance contracts may be reported as being crazy, with lamp changes costing £450.00 each, but the truth is less ‘headline-worthy’.
Imagine if you, as the contractor, have to sign up to replace a huge variety of light fittings and lamps by a set time, if so required by the hospital.
You have to arrange to buy and store a certain number of each type of lamp and fitting, and then ascertain whether the ‘three hours to change a lamp’ can be achieved. You then have to check whether a lamp needs to be changed in a corridor (one man, a step ladder) or a 400 watt fitting set thirty foot up against the ambulance bay adjacent to the Emergency entrance (three men, a hydraulic lift, specialist tools); or even a fitting in an operating room, (one man, but special dust control measures and re-sterilisation), and then you price and average out accordingly.
So you also allow for an electrician to be on call 24/7, together with a vehicle, as well as calling in stand-by crews if there is more than one job to tackle.
You then add up all the types of lamps and fittings, costing this in terms of working capital tied up, and add that to the total costs of the job. Then you add a 10% profit margin; and then you realise that is where the £450.00 to change a lamp comes from.
The Contracts were all arranged by the super-brains who were led and motivated by ‘New Labour’, so when the cost of the PFI contracts is calculated as some £61 billion, we all know who to blame!