After scrapping the plan for an £800m 'health campus' at Overdale hospital which was due to be completed in 2026, it's now been revealed that the government's new multi-site solution won't be ready until 2031...and it will take an extra £28m to get the new project off the ground.
Speaking in the States Assembly yesterday, Infrastructure Minister Tom Binet presented more details of the government's plans, which he said would be finalised at the end of this year.
Express explores the new way forward, timeline and some of the reaction so far...
According to Deputy Binet, this multi-site approach will now take the title of 'Delivering New Healthcare Facilities', which has replaced the previously used ‘Future Hospital’ and ‘Our Hospital’ labels.
Work to develop the scheme will continue for the rest of 2023, Deputy Binet said, using £51m in funding from the current Government Plan.
This includes £28.5m for the development of the "revised" multi-site scheme, £16m for the purchase of Kensington Place, and £7m for the completion of the Enid Quénault Health and Wellbeing Centre at the former Les Quennevais School site.
The funding would result, he added, in a detailed scheme being presented to States Members as part of the Government Plan for 2024-27 in December of this year, as well as a planning application at around the same time.
The latest report outlines the timeline of the scheme as follows:
Appoint client team for feasibility studies
Update functional brief
Strategic purchase Kensington Place from States of Jersey Development Company for £16m
Feasibility studies and refreshed Strategic Outline Case
Commence demolitions of unused dilapidated buildings at Overdale
Enid Quénault Health and Wellbeing Centre practical completion for £7m
Phase 1 Concept design
Phase 1 Outline Business Case
Work at Overdale to be completed
Kensington Place on land reacquired from developer Dandara
A new-build facility on the existing Gloucester Street Hospital site
Deputy Lyndon Farnham held political responsibility for the Our Hospital project from 2018 until 2022 and has consistently advocated the single-site Overdale option, which was supported by the previous States Assembly but has since been branded unaffordable by the island’s new Government.
Deputy Farnham said yesterday's report was "an exercise in civil service speak", adding: "They don’t know how much it will cost, how long it will take or where it will be – it’s a shambles.
"We could have borrowed [to finance the project] at historically low interest rates to complete a single-site hospital at Overdale that there were good plans for, but now they’re proposing a scheme that has very few details and seems almost certain to cost more."
Pictured: Deputy Lyndon Farnham held political responsibility for the Our Hospital project from 2018 until 2022.
The former Deputy Chief Minister said he was concerned that the scheme was not forecast to be completed until late 2030.
"I am genuinely concerned for the health of Islanders, who will remain reliant on the current Hospital – which has excellent staff but is broken and will become unsafe – for at least another four years," he said.
Deputy Binet pledged to consult extensively with clinical staff and all Islanders as more details for the scheme were finalised, including reviving a citizens’ panel.
He also gave details of a new ministerial group including Chief Minister Kristina Moore and the Health, Treasury and Infrastructure Ministers.
Pictured: The purchase of Kensington Place from the States of Jersey Development Company will cost £16million.
Addressing Members yesterday, Deputy Binet said: "For the avoidance of doubt, I can confirm that the facilities will meet the requirements of good, modern hospital care, but, by following a multi-site solution, will also manage the overarching economic risk posed by building on one site.
"This approach will see us replacing our essential facilities while committing less capital at any given time."
He added: "As Members will know, a significant amount of money has already been spent, but, as stated previously, we are already utilising much of the intellectual capital invested in previous schemes, all of which should help to minimise further spending and help accelerate delivery."
Consultant gastroenterologist David Ng also criticised the Government on social media following the report’s publication, saying: "So that’s £128.5m and not a brick laid. And no plans, no planning permissions, and no staff to run the sites."
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