PFI FUNDers and consultants are urging the government to consider allowing the private sector to offer more services in PFI deals – including clinical services in hospitals and teaching services in schools.
The call came at a PFI conference in the City of London last week, which was attended by PFI backers and lawyers.

Tim Stone, PFI chairman at accountant KPMG, said: "We know we can make these things work provided there is a grown-up approach to debate based on evidence rather than dogma."

Richard Curl, partner at solicitor DLA, said that the PFI sector was now prevented from looking at expanding deals. He said: "We are not being allowed to have an adult debate about this."

Curl said such a step was logical. He said: "The public sector should be interested in receiving more services. We really want to look at total service provision, rather than just building classrooms or hospital wards."

The government hinted last year that PFI deals could include bonuses linked to pupil performance. The Department for Education and Skills said last November that it was seeking the views of local education authorities about such a step.

PFI deals are currently limited almost entirely to construction and facilities management.