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A Royal Institute of British Architects competition will be held to select the designer of a new London hospital. RIBA says it believes the competition, to design a 120 bed- children's hospital on the site of St Thomas' Hospital, south London, is the first of its kind for a hospital building.

The£29m development for Guy's and St Thomas' Hospital trust will be in a conservation area, overlooking Lambeth Palace and the Houses of Parliament.

A trust spokesperson said one of the main reasons for having a competition, rather than a straight tender, was to get the best possible design for a 'landmark' building. NHS Estates has backed the idea.

Up to six teams will be asked to take part in the design phase of the competition in September and October. Each will be paid an honorarium of£10,000.