CABE has criticised the design of another major PFI hospital project, just two weeks after it slated plans for the £1bn Royal London.

The design watchdog has declared that more time and quality need to be invested in proposals for a PFI scheme in Edgbaston, Birmingham.

The 180,000 m2 hospital, designed by BDP, comprises a 1246-bed teaching hospital and a 137-bed mental health facility. The team is understood to have improved the masterplan but not the design of the mental health block.

A CABE statement said: “The [mental health] buildings have the appearance of having to respond, in design terms, to too many constraints, without any underlying ideas that would deal with these … The result is a set of buildings that lack coherence or empathy with their surroundings.”

The shape of the ward blocks /was both intriguing and problematic, the statement added. The news will aggravate concerns that the PFI procurement process militates against good design.