A panel of politicians has launched a probe into the fairness of the hospital site selection process.
The Government released its shortlist of sites for the future hospital in July, with the final five being St. Andrew’s Park, People’s Park, Overdale, fields and land to the north of Five Oaks, and Millbrook playing field plus farmland from St. Lawrence.
The Future Hospital Review Panel now want to know how fair, transparent and appropriate the decision-making process has been, as well as how much it has cost.
Launched on Monday, the Scrutineers’ review will assess the methodology used during the site selection process and its suitability and the lines of Ministerial accountability.
Pictured: The review will look at how far work from the previous Future Hospital project was considered.
It will equally aim to determine to what extent work on the previous Future Hospital project – which was scrapped with write-off costs of £27m – was considered, and examine how far the public were involved in the process.
The impact of the development of the Jersey Care Model on the decision-making process will also be investigated.
The politicians on the panel are: Senator Kristina Moore (Chair), Constable Mike Jackson, Deputy Mary Le Hegarat, Senator Sarah Ferguson, Deputy Kirsten Morel and Deputy Rob Ward.
Their review comes amid growing public discontent over the final five sites, and questions over how much say the Citizens Panel actually had over the process.
The group was tasked with coming up with a series of questions to narrow down the list of sites.
Pictured: Senator Kristina Moore is Chair of the Future Hospital Review Panel.
Those criteria were then applied by a panel of civil servants: Health Director Caroline Landon, Clinical Director Professor Ashok Handa, Interim Project Director Richard Bannister, the Government’s Chief of Staff Catherine Madden, Director of Natural Environment Willie Peggie, Head of Planning – Major Projects Richard Glover, and a number of “less senior” advisers from Highways and Infrastructure whose names the Government has refused to disclose.
Many have suggested that most of the sites on the list that was subsequently produced are not viable.
St. Helier Constable Simon Crowcroft went so far as to suggest that the inclusion of controversial sites like parks was part of a “cynical ploy” to narrow the list down to Ministers’ preferred sites – one of which is understood to be Overdale.
The team behind one of the petitions aiming to get Five Oaks – whose area was recently quietly expanded - thrown off the shortlist distributed flyers to hundreds of properties in the surrounding area last week.
Pictured: The leaflet distributed in Five Oaks.
Among the concerns listed were existing traffic issues in the area, potential dangers to schoolchildren, destruction of agricultural land, and the loss of Le Geyt and Les Amis.
“This is not a NIMBY (not in my back yard) petition to protect those who live in Five Oaks and surrounding areas.This is a petition to make sure that our island’s hospital is built somewhere that EVERYONE can easily access at speed in times of need for generations to come. This is about our future,” the leaflet read.
It went on to urge islanders to sign the petition – despite the Government previously telling Express that petitions will not influence the site selection process.
“Despite the media reporting on 26th August that the Government would not consider petitions associated with the new hospital, our Deputy Jess Perchard has said this is nonsense and your voice will be heard and she will act in our interest,” the pamphlet added.
At the time of writing, the Five Oaks petition has 427 signatures.
The shortlist is due to be narrowed down further in the early part of this month.
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