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Barts and Royal London PFI boost

NEWS

FEARS that the £1.2 billion Barts and Royal London hospitals development would be scaled down eased this week following a positive Government review.

Health secretary Patricia Hewitt ordered the review into health provision in north-east London before she would sign off the project, on which Skanska is preferred bidder.

She asked for Barts and the London NHS Trust to consider cutting the Barts hospital element out and just redeveloping the Royal London.

But the review, published on Tuesday, said Barts was needed to keep up with local health demands.

A quick decision is now required by the Department of Health on whether to go ahead as the cost is increasing by £600,000 every day.

In response to the review a spokesman for the Department of Health said: 'As soon as ministers have considered the review we will work quickly with the local NHS to finalise consideration of the business case for the scheme.

'The proposals for the investment must meet the needs of patients and offer value for money. The review's findings appear to demonstrate there is a clinical need to increase both cardiac and cancer capacity. The aim must now be to identify the best way to deliver these new services so that they are affordable to the local NHS.' The department refused to give a date for a final decision.