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Mowlem bid marks return to health PFI

CONTRACTS - TORBAY

MOWLEM has returned to the PFI hospital market with a bid for a scheme in Devon worth almost £200 million.

The only other firm on the shortlist for the Torbay Hospital redevelopment project is Bouygues. Invitations to tender for the contract had been expected to be sent to the two firms this month but have been delayed until December.

Bouygues has had a recent rash of successes in the PFI market including hospitals in Barnet, north London, and two in Middlesex.

But Mowlem has not had much of a showing in the sector since it missed out on Nottingham's £150 million Sherwood Forest Hospital to Skanska last autumn.

The Torbay contract will involve redeveloping the majority of the existing facilities at the current hospital. A 70,000 sq m block will be built for which outline planning permission has already been granted. Final plans will be drawn up next year.

The block will house theatres, wards, laboratories and an emergency department. It will replace over half the current buildings, with those that are left earmarked for non-clinical services and cancer treatment.

The contract is being let by the South Devon Healthcare NHS Trust after it agreed an outline business case with the South West Peninsula Strategic Health Authority.

The hospital decided to go ahead with its redevelopment plans after being included on a list of 38 hospitals that the Government had bookmarked for updating.

It hopes to focus on specialist services with specific equipment requirements as well as increasing capacity and offering more community services.

The contract will last for 30 years and might include some soft facilities management. A preferred bidder is not due to be selected until 2007. Work is expected to start in 2008 and be completed by 2012

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