The General Hospital has run up a backlog of maintenance work totalling £32million, with the majority of the cost being repairs to areas that were originally scheduled for demolition, it has emerged.
The news comes as States Members prepare to debate whether they should take the current hospital site off the table, and reopen the location debate.
This figure, along with the projection that the current Hospital will cost over £80million to run safely for the next 15 years, has emerged as a result of a written question asked of the Health Minister by Deputy Kevin Pamplin.
The Deputy’s question reads: “Will the Minister provide the list of maintenance work and any other vital building works that in his view is required to keep the current hospital running safely for the next 10 years?”
Pictured: Deputy Kevin Pamplin has asked the Health Minister to detail the ongoing maintenance costs associated with the current site for the next decade.
This comes after Deputy Pamplin, who is also Chairman of the Future Hospital Scrutiny panel, published a strongly-worded report criticising the Chief Minister and attempting to put the current site back on the table for the Future Hospital build.
In response to the question, Health Minister Deputy Richard Renouf provides a table detailing the current costs associated with the current Hospital as of this month, explaining that the figures have been put together as a result of the department’s building condition survey of the Hospital which is currently underway.
The table indicates that, as of this month, the General Hospital has a maintenance cost backlog of £32,111,174 – a figure that is mainly down to unexpected costs associated with maintaining parts of the site scheduled for demolition to make way for the new health estate.
Pictured: The table provided by the Health Minister in response to Deputy Pamplin's question regarding ongoing Hospital maintenance costs (States Assembly/Health and Community Services)
Alongside the table, the Health Minister explains: “The relatively large amount in ‘Year 0’ (£32m) reflects the accumulated deferred backlog maintenance.
"Much of this work was deferred because buildings were programmed for early demolition as part of the Future Hospital Project. These buildings will now need investment not previously considered."
It is also indicated that the figures only reflect the cost of the General Hospital and that other health facilities in the island will need to be surveyed separately to get a full-picture of the maintenance costs facing the department.
Pictured: The maintenance costs detailed in the Health Minister's response only include those for the General Hospital rather than all health facilities across the island.
In his response, the Health Minister also explained that these figures are baseline estimations. He writes that the figures “do not include the capital costs of other vital building works, particularly those associated with providing additional hospital bed[s], operating theatre or outpatient clinic capacity that will be needed to meet the demand created by the increasingly ageing demographic on the island".
“Nor do they include any additional costs such as service decant and temporary buildings, associated with enabling backlog maintenance projects to proceed,” he added.
The figures also don’t take into consideration “the impact of inflation on any programmed works".
Therefore, Deputy Renouf concludes that “these costs set out in this written answer are likely to represent only the minimumcosts required to keep the current General Hospital statutory and regulatory compliant for the next 10 years".
These figures come to light ahead of the debate on Deputy Russell Labey’s proposition to reverse the previous States’ decision to rebuild the new Hospital on the current site, which is due to kick off this afternoon.
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