MORE than £13 billion of NHS debt was written off by the Government at the start of the month.

And York councillors welcomed the move. Cllr Carol Runciman, executive member for health, said the amount of money hospitals were paying in interest could have been spent on frontline services in stead.

She said: "It should not have taken an international pandemic crisis for NHS debt to be written off, but it is good news all the same.

"On top of these debts were huge interest rates that removed millions of pounds of funding from local hospitals every year.

"The Liberal Democrats have been campaigning for this locally for many years and we are pleased that it will finally put a stop to the injustice of our NHS trusts using their resources to pay debt interest instead of recruiting more doctors and nurses."

A Freedom of Information request last year said York Hospital paid £390,717 interest in 2017 to 2018.