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Watchdog warns over future use of private finance initiative

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.d2761 (Published 28 April 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d2761
  1. Adrian O’Dowd
  1. 1London

The national spending watchdog has issued a warning over future use of any private finance initiatives to build hospitals, saying other ways of funding public projects might be better value for money.

The National Audit Office (NAO) says, in a report published on 28 April, that there has been no thorough value for money evaluations of existing private finance initiative (PFI) projects by government departments, so future projects have to be approached with caution.

Currently 698 PFI projects have been signed in the UK with a combined capital value of £52.9bn (€59.4bn; $87.3bn). Such projects include agreements in which private companies build hospitals and NHS …

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