Architect BDP has been stood down from the £761m PFI Pathway hospital development in Leicester while the government considers the future of PFI healthcare schemes.

This is the first time an architect has been pulled from a hospital scheme as a result of the government's review of more than 40 PFI hospital projects.

A spokesperson for the practice said: "BDP has been asked by its contractor partner Laing O'Rourke to stand down the Leicester Hospital design team pending the government's white paper review of the financial status of a number of PFI hospitals across the country, as well as the Monitor review of University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust's foundation status application.

"Fortunately, BDP is currently designing a number of healthcare projects and hopes to be able to redeploy the team in the meantime."

David Hartshorn, a spokesperson for the trust, said there was no point working on designs while waiting for the outcome of the review.

"It's a waste of time working on designs now if after the review they all have to be changed again. It's not money well spent."

The uncertainty among project teams has been exacerbated by the length of time take to carry out the review.

Despite previous promises that the future of schemes would be decided by the end of February, NHS trusts are still unsure of the status of their projects.

The projects are being examined by strategic health authorities. However, they are unable to begin until the Department of Health gives them the criteria that will be used to assess the schemes.