The NHS hospital building initiative Procure 21 has exceeded its five-year turnover target of £1.2bn after one year, according to a senior NHS Estates figure.

The announcement by Peter Woolliscroft, NHS Estates head of construction, comes after Trevor Walker, Construction Confederation chairman, criticised the government at last week’s Labour Party Conference for failing to keep its spending promises.

Woolliscroft said that the claims were unfounded, noting that £1.4bn of work had been commissioned since the scheme was launched in September 2003. He said that the total rose to almost £2bn if pilot schemes launched since April 2000 were included.

Woolliscroft said: “This is a significant achievement and one that exceeds expectations.”

He said that the introduction of more efficient construction methods had cut costs by 5%.

He said: “Time is being reduced pre-construction by anything up to a year. Construction time is also falling as extra attention is being paid to collaborative working within the scheme.”