Mr. Andrew Mitchess
To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many new hospitals and significant hospital buildings, as defined by his Department, were(a) in progress in May 1997 and (b) opened during 1997. 
§ Mr. Hutton
The Department's definition of a significant hospital building development is any capital investment scheme with a total cost of over £25 million. No such publicly funded schemes started construction in 1997 until the private finance initiative began to deliver, with the Dartford and Gravesham scheme in August 1997 and the Carlisle scheme in November 1997. Since 1 May 1997, 64 such schemes have been given approval to proceed under the private finance initiative.
In May 1997, 12 significant publicly funded schemes were in progress, having started construction several years previously. Eight such schemes reached completion during 1997.