OUR hospitals are going through one of their most turbulent periods in their history.

Last year the trust which runs Royal Blackburn and Burnley General was put in special measures following the publication of the Keogh Report.

He listed a number of failings including high mortality rates and poor communication with patients and their families.

Since then staff have rallied to make the hospitals better places to be treated.

And last week inspectors once again looked at the services they both offer and their performance.

Hopefully the inspectors will find that the trust has turned the corner and it is back on the right course.

However news that the rebuilt hospitals, constructed using private finance initiative money will mean taxpayers end up paying many times more, up to £1billion, than the construction costs are deeply worrying.

At a time when money should be spent on treating patients it seems wrong that so much is being paid to private companies.

While we have very impressive facilities at the end of the day the care is more important and being saddled with huge amounts of debt puts the trust at a disadvantage right from the get go.

Surely it is time that these agreements were reviewed by the government to ensure we all get value for money.