Project costs at Barts and Royal London PFI have risen by £28m since start of year because of ministerial delays.

Ministerial delays over the future of the Barts and Royal London PFI scheme are adding £25,000 per hour to the project's cost.

A report in this morning's Guardian claims that the project's total cost has risen by £28m, or £600,000 per day, since the start of the year, after health secretary Patricia Hewitt began a review of the PFI project.

Hewitt ordered a review to decide whether to continue with the building of both hospitals in a £1.2bn development. However, the Barts part of the project is believed to be under scrutiny.

Contractor Skanska Innisfree has kept staff on site working on enabling works despite the uncertainty over the project.

Chief executive Chris Field told the paper: "We could have laid off everyone on the site, but it would have cost even more to rehire them all if and when the decision to go ahead is made."

The future of other major PFI projects including hospitals in Birmingham, Hillingdon and Plymouth is also in question.