The new hospital project has been pushed back again amid concerns over whether the shortlisted designers will still be able to complete the project due to the financial impact of the pandemic.
A site shortlist and design partner for what will be Jersey's largest ever capital project should have been announced last month, but that decision will now be taken in two months' time.
The delay means a planning application won't be submitted until September 2021, while construction is now scheduled just months ahead of elections in 2022.
The Deputy Chief Minister, Senator Lyndon Farnham, announced the news in a statement made during a virtual sitting of the States Assembly.
He said the pandemic has affected some of the “more immediate work” of the project, such as the appointment of a delivery partner and the choice of a site for the building.
Pictured: News of the delay was broken to States Members at yesterday's meeting by Deputy Chief Minister, Senator Lyndon Farnham.
As a result, the shortlist of sites and appointed delivery partner, which should have been announced at the end of April, will be announced in mid-July.
“It is a short delay, but one which I am sure colleagues will understand and support to enable us to deliver on our commitment to build Our New Hospital,” he said.
However, Senator Farnham has assured the overall timeline and delivery date of the building will not change.
Setting out the reasons for the delay, Senator Farnham said that clinicians, whose involvement in the project has been “vital”, have been busy dealing with the response to the health crisis.
“We have said all along that this project will be clinically led, and it is important that we stick with that principle,” Senator Farnham said.
Pictured: Senator Farnham added that many of the clinicians involved in the future hospital project have been busy responding to covid-19.
In addition, the project team is having to check the shortlist of bidders they are considering to appoint to design and build the new hospital are still able to deliver the project “as the landscape has changed considerably”.
“We are therefore looking in more detail at their proposals, as well as their financial stability and capability to begin work in such challenging times,” the Deputy Chief Minister said.
Senator Farnham also explained that the emerging Jersey Care Model brief needs to be taken into account, “to make sure that we remain aligned, both in terms of our aspirations and our understanding of what modern future health care needs look like”.
“And we have also changed our planning approach – instead of presenting an outline planning application in March 2021, we will now move to a full detailed planning application in September 2021,” Senator Farnham added.
Pictured: The Deputy Chief Minister said the "financial capability" of each bidder to deliver a new hospital will need to be reevaluated as a result of covid-19.
“The advice received, from our colleagues in GHE, suggests a timetable for planning consent that gives us a start date of March 2022, a few months before the next elections.
“Using this approach means we will reduce the time needed to be spent on a pre-application and will ensure that we get it absolutely right first time.”
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