The construction arm of Europe’s biggest healthcare partnership has delayed a £1bn programme to deliver 25 private hospitals in the UK by at least a year as it seeks new investors

Healthcare Properties originally planned to develop five private hospitals a year over five to six years, starting in 2009. Each was expected to be worth about £50m, although the programme’s overall value is under review.

The company has had to defer the programme due to a lack of funding. The first scheme, a Norman Foster-designed hospital in Bath, was completed in September 2008 and is the only one out of the 25 to be delivered so far. The next, in Reading, is not expected to start on site until January 2010 at the earliest.

Mark Cammies, property director for Healthcare Properties, said the group plans to deliver two or three projects in 2010 if the market picks up, with the five-schemes-a-year schedule to resume in 2011, two years after originally planned.

“We have had problems with our funding,” he said. “For the first half of this year, things were pretty much frozen and the debt market was incredibly tough. But things are beginning to happen now and although we have had to defer some schemes, we still hope to deliver them once funding is secured.”