THE government has written off the East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust’s £7.7million debt.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced yesterday he was wiping the financial slate clean from next month for England’s 107 major healthcare and hospital providers

The move will cost £1.5bn to clear the debts of the North-West’s 18 main trusts.

The ELHT’s debt is the lowest in the region and one of the smallest in the country at £7,748,000.

Other trusts debts cleared include the Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust's £215.5m.

Mr Hancock said: “This £1.5bn will allow NHS hospitals to plan for the future and invest in vital services.”

Blackburn MP Kate Hollern said: “This is a good move but the government should never have forced NHS trusts into debt in the first place.

“The low ELHT figure shows how carefully its finances have been managed.”