Page last updated at 11:37 GMT, Thursday, 5 November 2009

NHS sued for 20m over hospitals

Artist's impression of part of the planned hospital
Plans for the Pathway project were scrapped last month

The NHS in Leicester is being sued for more than £20m over the collapse of a plan to rebuild the city's hospitals.

The Pathway project was shelved by health officials in 2007 after the £711m projected cost rose by £200m.

Triskelion, a consortium of builders which was the preferred bidder for the scheme, has lodged a claim in the High Court over costs it incurred.

Hospital bosses have said they cannot comment on legal proceedings but any action would be defended robustly.

The legal action follows two years of wrangling during which the company said it had been trying to reach a settlement with the NHS.

Triskelion has regrettably been left with no other option than to seek redress through the courts
Triskelion Healthcare spokesman

The consortium included construction giants John Laing and Laing O'Rourke, and Serco.

A spokesman for Triskelion Healthcare, which was to have carried out the scheme under a private finance initiative, said: "We believe this claim is justified legally.

"Triskelion has been attempting to resolve this issue for more than two years and has regrettably been left with no other option than to seek redress through the courts."

Ambitious plans

The planned new hospital complex had been one of the most ambitious NHS-private finance construction projects in the country.

It included creating a new women's hospital at Glenfield and revamping children's facilities at Leicester Royal Infirmary as well as refurbishing existing buildings.

A spokesman for University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust said: "We are aware that the Triskelion consortium has indicated an intention to pursue proceedings, although no claim has yet been served.

"Any proceedings will be defended robustly by the trust.

"It would not be appropriate for us to comment further at this stage."

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