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Guernsey Chief Minister: Sharing health burden with Jersey "makes great sense"

Guernsey Chief Minister: Sharing health burden with Jersey

Thursday 27 April 2023

Guernsey Chief Minister: Sharing health burden with Jersey "makes great sense"

Thursday 27 April 2023

With the Channel Islands facing increasing health costs, ageing populations and staffing issues, coupled with a stalling hospital rebuild in Jersey and a potentially delayed expansion in Guernsey... Express asked the man responsible for proposing a delay on Guernsey's health modernisation project whether he sees collaboration as a potential fix.

"The kind of thing that you've alluded to, to me, makes great sense,” Guernsey's Chief Minister, Deputy Peter Ferbrache, told the Bailiwick Express Podcast.

"Can we do Orthopaedic Surgery here, and they do [another] kind of surgery there? Therefore, we don't need [certainfacilities here? But they need to be there and vice versa? That to me is the kind of conversation we should be having.” 

An £800million ‘health campus’ plan was recently scrapped in Jersey, leaving the island waiting – potentially until 2031 – for a new hospital. The cost of which has increased by another £28million. 

Similarly, in Guernsey, the future of the island’s hospital modernisation project has been put in jeapordy by Deputy Ferbrache’s committee, which has proposed dropping the second stage of the project until after this term, in favour of finishing the Education Programme 

This leaves people in both islands with ageing buildings that are lacking the required space to support them. Health provision is also the biggest cost to the Guernsey taxpayer and Deputy Ferbrache expects it’s the same in Jersey. 

When asked if sharing resources is the way to go, Deputy Ferbrache said: “There are opportunities [for joint working].” 


Pictured: Deputy Peter Ferbrache, Chief Minister and President of Guernsey's leading Policy and Resources Committee.

He said he had a good relationship with the previous Jersey administration, but admitted that joint working schemes have always been talked about, “but never really happen”. 

He said: “The intent is do things with them, as to what we'regoing to do, and how we do itthat's still to be discussed. But I think we've got that intention. We've been busy at the moment, and they've been busy. But what we mustn't do, and they mustn't do is be too busy to talk to each other.  

“We've had some conversations – we're going to have some more.”  

The islands have previously looked to collaborate on health-related matters, with a joint radiotherapy service previously on the agenda, as islanders currently have to travel to Southampton. Clinical Director of the now-scrapped Our Hospital project Professor Ashok Handa previously said that a joint facility could be offered as part of a new hospital.

While that work doesn't appear to have progressed, Jersey and Guernsey recently teamed up to tackle Public Health issues


Guernsey hospital plans to be put on ice in bid to save money 


The Bailiwick Express Guernsey team spoke to Deputy Ferbrache in-depth about the island's capital projects portfolio – listen below or wherever you get your podcasts...

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