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"Spade in the ground" at Overdale due in first half of 2025

Friday 22 September 2023

"Spade in the ground" at Overdale due in first half of 2025

Friday 22 September 2023

The much anticipated "first spade in the ground" at a new inpatients’ hospital at Overdale will be in the first half of 2025, the politician in charge of the programme has said – providing the Assembly supports the plan.

Infrastructure Minister Tom Binet said that the removal of old buildings at the Westmount site had already begun.

He added that if the Assembly approved a £52m funding request in next year’s Government Plan, and the project’s ‘outline business case’ was supported by Members at the end of a debate scheduled for next June or July, work would begin in early 2025, subject to planning permission.

Deputy Binet this week updated members of the Future Hospital Review Panel, a group of backbenchers which is scrutinising the Government’s ‘New Healthcare Facilities Programme’.


Pictured: Infrastructure Minister Tom Binet is the political lead of the ‘New Healthcare Facilities Programme’.

On Tuesday, more details of the programme were revealed in the draft Government Plan, which included estimates that the total cost to deliver an acute facility at Overdale and make “meaningful progress” on future phases – an ambulatory hospital in Kensington Place/Gloucester Street and a Health Village opposite St. Saviour’s Hospital – would be no more than £710m, including £675m during the four years of the 2024-2027 plan.

Launching the Government Plan, Treasury Minister Ian Gorst said it was imperative that “a spade in the ground” was dug in this political term, which ends in 2026.

Speaking to Scrutiny, Deputy Binet said that the phased programme was now building momentum and the Overdale component would reach the ‘RIBA 4’ stage – which is the completion of technical designs – by next summer. 

He added that a planning application would be submitted in the first half of next year, with a determination hopefully before the autumn.

Gorst hospital 850x500.jpg

Pictured: Treasury Minister Ian Gorst said it was imperative that “a spade in the ground” was dug in this political term, which ends in 2026.

The Overdale acute hospital is due to open in early 2028. Moving inpatient activity up there will then free up space in the existing hospital to develop new outpatient services, although work at the neighbouring cleared site can start before then.

A planning application for Kensington Place is expected to be submitted in the autumn of 2025.

Deputy Binet told the panel, which is chaired by Deputy Sam Mézec, that any construction work at Kensington Place or the Health Village would be distinct from functioning facilities and not impact patients; in contrast to the delayed upgrade to Clinique Pinel, which he described as “expensive and horribly time consuming”.

He added that he was “crystal clear” that the programme included the three main components of Overdale, Kensington Place and the Health Village, and there was consensus around the Council of Ministers’ table on this.

The panel’s questions on the level of consensus may have been prompted by comments from Health Minister Karen Wilson, who had told them at a recent hearing that extending the programme beyond the original two-site model [acute at Overdale; and ambulatory in Kensington Place] could present some “funding challenges”.


Pictured: Deputy Binet described the delayed upgrade to Clinique Pinel as “expensive and horribly time consuming”.

Deputy Binet also revealed that he had recently sat in the back of an ambulance as it drove under blue lights from the Esplanade to the top of Westmount Road, at the invitation of the Ambulance Service, which had wanted to demonstrate the challenges of negotiating the hill at speed.

Deputy Binet said it had not been a “stunt” but a genuine attempt to understand the service’s concerns.

He added that he recognised that there were some reservations about taking emergency patients to Overdale, but solutions had been identified and “we are close to having full agreement”.

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