Busy hospital corridor

NHS trusts drop £2.35bn business rates appeal

A petition to the Court of Appeal by a group of NHS trusts, over a £2.35bn refund on business rates paid by hospitals, has been dropped.

Led by University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust (UHDB), the group argued they should have been entitled to receive the same 80% reduction on business rates which charities receive.

The case was initially rejected by the High Court in 2019, with the ruling stating NHS trusts were not eligible to be treated the same as charities with regard to business rates.

Private healthcare groups are eligible to receive the 80% relief discount from local authorities should they register as charities. This includes the UK’s second largest charity by income, Nuffield Health.

Alongside 16 other NHS trusts, UHDB argued to the High Court two years back that they should be equally entitled to the discount. Victory in the 2019 case would have seen them receive a rebate, backdated to April 1, 2010, worth £2.35bn.

Of those who lodged the initial case, 11 NHS trusts backed a petition to the Court of Appeal, which has since been dropped.

UHDB had made the decision not to appeal the business rates case following the High Court ruling.

As a result of the case now having been formally abandoned, hospitals will continue to pay full normal business rates for the foreseeable future.

The business rates system is however currently under government review, with a final report set to be published later this year.

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