The team behind the £800m PFI hospital planned for Paddington in west London has spent £7.3m on consultant fees in the past six years, it emerged this week.

The figure, disclosed in a parliamentary answer to John Wilkinson, MP for Ruislip-Northwood, which covers the area, is for the six years to 31 December. The last total figure, for fees up to 31 December 2003, was £5.6m.

The top earner during those years was architect Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, which made more than £1m. Consortium IBS made £911,000 and lawyer Berwin Leighton Paisner £735,000. For a full list of the consultants on the project go to

News of the hike in fees came as it was reported in the Evening Standard that there were doubts over whether the government would back the scheme. Westminster council this week urged the government to give the scheme its backing.