Private Finance Initiative (PFI)-funded hospitals in the UK are cleaner than hospitals built with public sector financing, a new report has found.

Hospitals operating under PFI have better patient environment ratings and higher cleanliness scores than conventionally funded hospitals of a similar age, according to data collected by the NHS.

The cost of cleaning PFI and non-PFI hospitals is similar, although it is less variable over a long period in PFI hospitals, said an analysis by University College London (UCL), part of a government-funded project in collaboration with consultancy KPMG.

In conventionally funded hospitals it is difficult to introduce incentives to change people’s behaviour whereas PFI hospitals are set up to measure and evaluate outputs, NHS managers said.