Hospital building under the private finance initiative has been cut by about £4bn, or a third, in the past 16 months, figures from by the Department of Health show. Financial Times

The PFI has been under review since early last year and the original £12bn of buildings in the pipeline cut back. Further cuts are possible.

Five projects totalling more than £1bn have been axed at Plymouth, Aintree in Liverpool, south Devon and Whipps Cross in London.

Other projects, while still going ahead, have been scaled back. Around £200m has been knocked off hospital plans in the Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells area and in Hillingdon, and £300m has gone from a £550m scheme in Hertfordshire.

Planned PFI redevelopments throughout Liverpool originally worth £700m have been reduced to £390m.