Page last updated at 12:57 GMT, Monday, 13 October 2008 13:57 UK

Research fear over Christie money


Research risk over cash loss

A cancer treatment centre, which invested 7.5m in an Icelandic bank, has said research could be jeopardised if it does not get its money back.

The Christie NHS Foundation Trust in Withington, Manchester, invested the money with Kaupthing Singer and Friedlander (KSF) in May and July 2008.

Of that amount, 6.5m is charity money and 1m is NHS cash.

Dr Chris Harrison, medical director of The Christie, said he was concerned about the future of its research.

He said: "The things that we are concerned about are future developments into research.

"The hospital is continuing to run, patients are continuing to be treated and new developments such as the radiotherapy centre will continue."

There is a very, very good chance that we will get the money back

Caroline Shaw, chief executive of The Christie

He added: "What we are concerned about is moving on to the next step and later research, perhaps with the University of Manchester.

"It is possible that if we do not get the money back we won't be able to carry out the research that will lead to drug development for the future."

The construction of two 17m radiotherapy centres in Oldham and Salford, and a new patient treatment centre at The Christie, is to go ahead in January as planned.

Caroline Shaw, chief executive of The Christie, defended the hospital's decision to invest in the failed bank.

She said: "The majority of the 7.5m was deposited in fixed-term contracts in May and July of 2008, when the bank had an A1 credit rating - and I would like to mention that this time last week that bank still had an A1 credit rating.

"We have a very clear financial management policy that has been followed and our prudent management of funds means we are able to continue to offer high quality services and cancer care to our patients at the hospital.

"We are in close contact with the FSA and have applied to the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.

"We have taken excellent legal advice and have been told there is a very, very good chance that we will get the money back."

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