Westminister Council asks prime minister to give PFI hospital his personal support following doubts over its future.

Wesminster council is to urge Prime Minister Tony Blair to give his personal backing to plans for a new £800m PFI hospital in Paddington, West London.

A statement by the council today said Cllr Barrie Taylor, chairman of the council's health services overview and scrutiny committee, would be writing to Blair asking him to give the Paddington Health Campus scheme "his personal support". The move follows reports yesterday that said the troubled scheme's future was hanging in the balance.

Taylor said the council had received the PHC team's outline business case and were supporting it. He said: "We have looked at the outline business case and we are convinced that the Paddington Health Campus is both a viable and necessary proposal. It will offer patients 21st cntury facilities, world-class research and training and clinical excellence."

Taylor said that throwing out the scheme would waste millions of pounds already invested in the hospital project. He said: "The planning of this project has been underway since 1996 and I understand several millions of pounds have already been invested in ths project. We must now ensure we get absolute value from this very significant investment... We are, of course, concerned that a decision now needs to be made that would not squander the millions of pounds of public money already invested."