Published: 15/07/2004, Volume II4, No. 5914 Page 6 7

A new outline business case will have to be drawn up for the Paddington health campus now that an investigation into the scheme's rising costs has given the trusts involved the go-ahead to continue with the project.

In a statement this week, North West London strategic health authority announced that a joint review of the project by the National Audit Office, the Treasury and the Department of Health had concluded that the scheme should continue.

But campaigners opposed to the development claimed the requirement to draw up a new outline business case put the scheme back to square one.

The joint inquiry was called after the predicted cost of the private finance initiative project to merge St Mary's, Royal Brompton, and Harefield hospitals, plus the National Heart and Lung Institute of Imperial College, on one site, soared from£360m to around£800m.

Heart of Harefield campaign chair Jean Brett said: 'It is absolutely ridiculous for the Paddington Health Campus management team to assert that it is good news to have to prepare a new outline business case.'