Jarvis was this week appointed preferred bidder on the first of a new style of health PFI schemes.
The Ambulatory Care Centre, at Birmingham City Hospital, will bring more than 100 clinics together to provide a one-stop facility that will include operating theatres, x-ray facilities, rehabilitation and physiotherapy units and telephone helpline call centres. The NHS plans to build 20 such units around the country.

The deal, to design, build, finance and maintain the facility, will be worth £78m over its 30-year life. Jarvis, which is to invest £25m in the scheme, will provide a range of services including building maintenance and security. Work on the 12,000 m2 centre is due to start next summer for completion by January 2004.

The facility, Jarvis' fifth health PFI project, underlines the group's move into the sector after its domination of education PFI. Last month, Jarvis was appointed preferred partner for a £30m PFI facilities contract at the Whittington Hospital NHS Trust in Islington, north London.

Jarvis Accommodation Services chief executive Andrew Sutton described the Birmingham project as a pioneering one that reinforced Jarvis' reputation for innovation.

He said: "This appointment, together with the Whittington Hospital success, is further recognition of the skills that we can bring to the health sector."

This contract is further recognition of the skills that we can bring to the health sector

Andrew Sutton, Jarvis

Richard Steer, chairman of the Birmingham City Hospital NHS Trust, said the centre would run alongside the hospital's casualty department, in-patient wards and specialist services.

He said: "The centre will become a focal point of the hospital and will set the tone for future modernisation and regeneration of the surrounding area."

Peel Hunt analyst Stephen Rawlinson said the deal was further evidence that health secretary Alan Milburn was signing off health PFI deals. He said: "It's not a big deal in money terms, but it is a good sign for those in PFI. There will be more on the way, and not just in health."