MANAGERS putting together plans to bring Blackburn's hospitals on to one site say they have had to put their schedule back by two months.

The single site project will see services from Blackburn Royal Infirmary brought onto the same site as Queen's Park, under the new proposed name of the Royal Blackburn Hospital, in a multi million pound private finance scheme.

Management had hoped to have the plans tied up legally by the end of March this year, ready for a business case to be submitted.

But project director Simon Neville told the Blackburn, Hyndburn and Ribble Valley NHS Trust board meeting, that negotiations on some financial aspects were delaying the process. He said a financial close would have to be put back by two months, taking it to the end of May this year.

He said: "These things have taken longer and so we will have to put it back.

"But we can agree that we will put back the deadline so that we finish the deal before the World Cup starts in June."

Exact financial details that have hit the snag are not being released.

Health aspects which have now been agreed include a filmless radiology system and a cardiac catheter laboratory.

The full business case for the project has been completed in draft form, but cannot be submitted until the legal negotiations are finished.

The delay means that the date for completion of the whole project will be put back to June 2005.