PADDINGTON HEALTH CAMPUS

Published: 28/07/2005, Volume II5, No. 5966 Page 11

The collapsed£1bn Paddington health campus will be subjected to a two-pronged review in an attempt to improve the quality of future private finance initiative schemes in the NHS.

The National Audit Office this week confirmed that it would conduct its own investigation into the scheme - which spent nearly£14m of taxpayers' money - following requests from three MPs.

The inquiry will begin after North West London strategic health authority concludes its own independent review after abandoning the project last month.

A statement released by the SHA last week states: 'The intention of the review is to ensure that lessons are learned from the experience of planning and implementing the project, and to improve the quality of future similar PFI projects across the wider NHS.' The review is likely to take two months.

An NAO spokesperson said it would be engaging constructively with the SHA review but would then 'consider whether its final product addressed all the concerns adequately'.

He added: 'We are going to see how far the review goes and do our own report to the chair of the Paddington health campus.' The SHA ploughed on with the project to merge St Mary's and Royal Brompton and Harefield hospitals despite reservations from government finance experts about its viability.