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Hospital pressure group formed

Hospital pressure group formed

Thursday 20 February 2020

Hospital pressure group formed

A group of islanders has formed a pressure group in a bid to speed up the completion of the new hospital.

'Friends of Our New Hospital' says it aims to lobby the government while also acting as an "independent and objective source of information" on the project.

The steering group will be chaired by Bruce Willing - who previously set up meetings between government officials and French architects who pledged they could deliver a new build at a fraction of the previous project's £466m budget - and Graham Bisson, Peter Funk, Andy Howell and Jean Lelliott.

It also includes former Jersey Royal Company owner Tom Binet, who has recently lobbied the government on planning issues.

“Our objective is to create and sustain a public campaign to assist Our Government in accelerating the completion of the new hospital," Mr Willing said. We will make every effort to mobilise public opinion and to lobby Our Government to ensure progress is made as soon as possible."

While the group is developing a website, islanders interested in learning more about the hospital project and contributing to the campaign are being invited to join the group.


Pictured: The Citizen's Panel will not decide on the location of the new hospital, but will define what criteria should be used to select the site. (GoJ)

The new group's creation comes weeks after the government announced it would be creating a 'Citizens' Panel’ to provide a “representative voice” of the community following criticism levelled at the previous ‘Future Hospital’ project for not taking islanders’ views into account.

The group, which will operate in secret over fears they might come under "influence" or "pressure" from outsiders, is expected to meet four or five times over an eight-week period.

They will not directly be responsible for making rulings on controversial topics such as the size, cost or location, but will be asked to determine the “decision-making parameters” for each, as well as the overarching requirements of a new hospital.

Last month, a trio of senior health staff visited Madrid as part of a larger European tour to find a designer for the new hospital.

Express understands they also visited locations in Stockholm and Scotland, as well as London and Belfast, although government officials refused to confirm the full list, citing "commercial sensitivity".

It is expected that the final preferred site will go to the States Assembly for a vote of approval no later than September.

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