Health Secretary Alan Milburn gave the green light for a £3.1bn investment in hospital developments last week.
Milburn said plans for 12 hospital developments would be set in motion this year. These include schemes in Birmingham, Tunbridge Wells in Kent, and Leicester.

A further 13 hospitals will start the procurement process next year and four in 2003.

The minister said the PFI route would only be used on projects when it would offer best value for money.

Milburn added that the hospitals' designs would have to take into consideration the property needs of local GPs and community hospitals.