A trust is pressing for NHS capital funding after changes in a private consortium's financial figures forced the NHS Executive to axe four private finance initiative schemes last week.

The four schemes, worth more than£58m, involved the private sector Investors in Health consortium, made up of Rotch Property Group and investment bank Schroders.

South East regional office said the schemes to build community hospitals for Lymington, Hampshire, and the Isle of Sheppey in Kent failed the 'valuefor-money' test under PFI.

South East region director of finance and performance Alan Meekings said: 'There were clearly issues with the kind of funding arrangements by Rotch.'

Two other projects - new mental health facilities in Portsmouth and eye-care facilities at Maidstone Hospital, Kent - had been on hold 'pending the outcome of contract negotiations' on the other two schemes. They were also terminated, described by South East regional office as 'similarly poor value for money'.

Mike Lager, chief executive of Southampton Community Health Services trust, insisted that the£20m, 112-bed community hospital project in Lymington would go ahead. 'We will press for the NHS Executive to provide the capital funding we now need to make this project work, ' he said.

'We were told PFI was the only way; but that's not an option to us now. We must have NHS capital.'

The PFI scheme had looked set to offer good value in June, and the trust had been ready to sign.

But changes in the 'consortium's financial figures' were 'now neither affordable nor good value', Mr Lager said.

Lynne Clemence, service development director for Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells trust, said the trust was 'not convinced' that the PFI scheme would meet the government's affordability and value-for-money criteria.

It had started looking some time ago 'at a conventional capital scheme' in parallel with the PFI option, and would be submitting a full business case to the regional office in January.

Thames Gateway trust chief executive John Mangan said the trust's business case had shown that 'better value would be achieved' if the Isle of Sheppey community hospital scheme 'was publicly funded'.

But the trust 'had previously given a commitment' to local resident Peter Macdonald of the Isle of Sheppey Trust to consider his proposals for a charitably funded hospital 'in the event that the PFI route was unsuccessful'.

A Thames Gateway spokesperson could not confirm, however, whether the Isle of Sheppey Trust had charitable status.

Unison national officer Stephen Weeks said NHS facilities should not be financed through 'a charitable route' on principle and because of 'concerns about longterm viability'.

'There is public finance available. These schemes should be offered priority for public funding, ' he said.

Both Rotch and Schroders claimed the change in the financial figures was 'not more than one might expect' on a PFI deal.

Schroders vice-president Philippa Roe said: 'The main difficulty has been the time taken to conclude these deals - it's been years - and that affects costs.'

She added that there had been 'construction price inflation' and 'facilities management' cost increases.

A spokesperson for Rotch said the failure of the deal was 'something we regret totally'. But 'apportioning blame within the consortium' was 'not appropriate at the moment'.