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£1 billion cancellation that no one's to blame for


THE PADDINGTON Health Campus was a textbook example for clients everywhere of how not to do it after the project imploded following a year of bitter wrangling and recriminations.

The work involved combining St Mary's Hospital and the Royal Brompton and Harefield hospitals into one site in Paddington, west London. But chiefs at the Royal Brompton & Harefield and the St Mary's NHS trusts spent £14 million without even finding a location.

After being warned by well-informed protesters for nearly a decade that the scheme was a no-go, one of the trusts finally had the sense to call it quits this summer after project costs had spiralled from £360 million to around £1 billion.

But still nobody has been held to account. Instead NHS bosses commissioned a review that was ordered to blame nobody while coming up with useful tips for the future.

Despite this the report was still able to condemn poor management and cowardice about pulling the plug.

Now the three hospitals that were going to be combined are years behind in their maintenance and will have to go back to the market with their tails between their legs in the hope that contractors have not been completely turned off.