A key facility at a £380m joint hospitals PFI in Manchester, which is being built by Bovis Lend Lease, opened three months late in December.

The £36m heart and renal unit was supposed to be ready in September but was delayed because of changes to the installation of medical equipment. It is the latest facility to be built behind schedule, after a 12-week delay to the £4m first phase in 2005.

Murray Coleman, the UK chief executive of Bovis, said there would “always be ups and downs” on a six-year scheme.

He added that it was one of the most complicated projects he had encountered, as construction took place alongside operational healthcare. He said: “It’s a 9.9 degree of difficulty – with a pike.”

Coleman, in an interview published in Building this week, also described his plans for the business, which he took over last summer. He said he wanted to expand rapidly, adding 500 people to the 2,250 payroll within three years. He will focus on bidding for more residential work.