Published: 11/07/2002, Volume II2, No.5813 Page 8

Health minister John Hutton has given the approval for a£228m private finance initiative scheme to provide acute hospital services for St Helens and Knowsley Hospitals trust.The scheme will create 500 new jobs, including 375 additional doctor and nurse posts, and will provide replacement for the outdated facilities at Newton Community, Whiston and St Helens hospitals, with a mixture of new build and refurbishment. It will also create one of a new generation of diagnostic and treatment centres.

Launching the new scheme at Whiston Hospital last week, Mr Hutton also gave the go-ahead for 13 other trusts to issue tenders for PFI deals.