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FOCUS: How much the hospital saga has cost us so far

FOCUS: How much the hospital saga has cost us so far

Friday 16 February 2024

FOCUS: How much the hospital saga has cost us so far

Friday 16 February 2024


It has been the subject of heated political debate for more than a decade... but how much has the saga to build a new hospital actually cost?

Chief Minister Lyndon Farnham has responded to a written question from Deputy Max Andrews, who asked for a breakdown of the figures.

Express takes a look at the spending so far...

'A new way forward' - 2012 to 2016 (£9.3m)

The saga began more than 10 years ago, when the States Assembly debated, and overwhelmingly approved, a proposal called ‘Health and Social Services: A New Way Forward’  establishing a case for a new hospital and methods of funding healthcare.

Although the document envisaged that proposals for a new hospital would be brought to the Assembly by the end of 2014 – and a new facility costing in the region of £389 to £431 million would be open by 2021 – these first four years ultimately never saw anything progressed past debate over site selection and feasibility.

'Future Hospital' - 2017 to 2019 (£37.6m)

This phase actually saw a planning application put forward, for a multi-million pound facility to be constructed on the site of the current General Hospital - but in 2018 it was rejected by then-environment minister Deputy Steve Luce over concerns about the project's size.

Hospital.jpg

Plans to build on the current Gloucester Street site never made it past the planning stage.

History repeated itself around a year later, this time with another former Environment Minister - John Young - refusing it for similar reasons, citing "the significant planning harm that would be caused by this development".

The cost of the project included the development of the outline planning application as well as £0.9m in site acquisition and associated costs, such as stamp duty.

'Our Hospital' - 2019 to 2022 (£83.8m)

This part of the saga, overseen by now-Chief Minister Lyndon Farnham, involved a major back-and-forth over site selection  with the Assembly selecting Overdale towards the end of 2020.

Despite controversy over access to the site and protest over the impact the scheme could have on the surrounding area at Westmount, plans for an £800 million health campus were revealed in 2021.

binet_health_campus.jpg

Deputy Binet oversaw a review of the Our Hospital Project that would eventually see the plans for an £800m health campus abandoned.

Further debate over how the scheme could be financed played out over the following year, but the plans would ultimately be scrapped in 2022 following a review by then-Infrastructure Minister Tom Binet.

Deputy Binet deemed that the health campus as proposed was "no longer feasible", citing rises in inflation, borrowing rates, global economic instability and reopening debate over the possibility of a multi-site solution.

The review would eventually lead to the newly-elected government pushing forward with a "New Healthcare Facilities Programme" to build over several locations including Overdale, Kensington Place and the current Gloucester Street site.

However, the four-year 'Our Hospital' phase of the saga is so far the most expensive and also includes planning application costs as well as millions spent on purchasing land for the project.

Question_hospital_costs.jpg

Some of the "Our Hospital" costs revealed by the written question.

'New Healthcare Facilities Programme' - 2023 (ongoing)

The most recent iteration of the scheme has so far recorded £38.4 million in unaudited expenditure and has seen demolition work begin at Overdale for the construction of an acute facility.

Deputy Farnham's response notes that the figure "represents an underspend against the approved budget of £51.5m" to continue the development of the programme prior to further States' debate.

Overdale_1.JPG

 Pictured: Demolition at Overdale has already begun in preparation for construction of an acute facility.

Deputy Binet, who has since been made Health Minister, has said that construction on a new acute hospital will start in 2025 – if the States Assembly decides to give its backing to the programme.

He also revealed that early designs for the facility could be shared later this year.

Total cost of the new hospital saga = £130.7m (and counting)

The full response to the written question can be found here.

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