Contractor Skanska is gearing up for a glut of hospital PFI work in the Midlands after signing a £484m deal last week.
The firm, in a consortium with backer Innisfree, reached financial close on the deal to build the 1212-bed acute hospital in Walsgrave with the University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust last Wednesday. The consortium was chosen as preferred bidder for the scheme at the end of last year.

The Walsgrave hospital scheme, designed by Nightingale Associates, is one of two large healthcare projects being undertaken by the consortium. The other is a £250m extension to Derby's City Hospital, due to start next year.

The Skanska and Innisfree consortium was selected as preferred bidder for the Derby project in August and will sign the deal in the spring. Skanska has, over the past year, been recruiting local skilled workers for the two jobs.

The Coventry hospital scheme is the first health PFI to retain the public sector employment model, meaning that workers doing private sector jobs will be employed on public sector terms.

  • Deputy prime minister John Prescott has backed plans for a 600-bed, £257m PFI hospital in Pembury. The Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust will advertise the PFI contract next year, with work due to start in 2004 and completion expected in 2008.