NHS trusts waiting for the green light from the government on stalled PFI schemes have reacted with cautious optimism to the news that the £1.1bn Barts and Royal Hospital project is expected to get the go-ahead this week.

A spokesperson for University Hospital Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, which is awaiting news from the Department of Health on its £559m Birmingham new hospitals project, said: "Hopefully we will benefit from this decision. But our last contact with the DoH was a few weeks ago and we still feel very much in limbo."

Mark Britnell, UHB chief executive, has written to the DoH, claiming that construction costs are likely to increase by £1m a week from the middle of March if a decision isn't announced.

Syd Jamieson, project director for the delayed £600m Vanguard project in Plymouth, said: "Perhaps this is a change of tide - we can only live in hope."