Ministers have today unveiled plans to build a new inpatient unit at Overdale, an outpatient unit at Kensington Place, and a 'Health Village' in St. Saviour by 2031 – with the first set to open by 2028.
Together termed the 'New Healthcare Facilities Programme', the proposals to upgrade island health facilities over a period of eight years replace previous Chief Minister John Le Fondré's £800m plan for a new 'health campus' at Overdale.
The Government confirmed in November last year that it would not be going ahead with the Overdale plan in the hope of pursuing a more "appropriate and affordable" scheme spread across several sites.
However, Ministers have confirmed detail of their new plans for the first time today, following the conclusion of a feasibility study which involved considering in detail what should go at Overdale and what should go in town.
The fresh set of plans come more than a decade after the island's need for new hospital facilities were identified.
Ministers say that their new approach will enable faster progress to be made, with the new Overdale inpatient facility opening in 2028.
Here, Express explores what we know so far about the plans, how Ministers came to their decision, and the potential cost of the new project...
Option B (the successful option)
The 'Our Hospital' Overdale plan was thrown out after a review by the Infrastructure Minister and Expert Adviser Alan Moore – which was recently criticised by the Comptroller and Auditor General – concluded that a multi-site option would be preferable.
Following this, the Government commissioned a feasibility study which they said "assessed what is possible in delivering a multi-site healthcare solution that meets present and future clinical needs".
The Government had already decided that it wished to pursue a multi-site option involving Overdale, a cleared site in Kensington Place, parts of the existing hospital and the former Les Quennevais School in St. Brelade.
The main purpose of the study was to determine whether acute services (which is broadly inpatient care) should be at Overdale, and ambulatory services (or outpatient care) in Kensington Place/Gloucester Street – or vice versa.
Pictured: The Government already have planning permission to construct a number of large buildings at Overdale.
The two options were assessed against various criteria – including environmental, infrastructure, planning, heritage, construction and economic matters – and scored during five workshops which were overseen by an independent chair and attended by specialists in each area.
The Government said that in developing these latest options, the team behind the project had included facilities that were not in the scope of the ‘Our Hospital’ single-site design, including rehabilitation and post-hospital care, dementia beds, and multiple therapies.
Although the study concluded that both options were feasible, Option A scored ‘Good’ overall on the chosen evaluation scale, while Option B scored ‘Very Good’.
The Government said the following reasons made Option B preferable:
The government said that their multi-site approach should deliver "an additional 134 beds, as well as a range of previously excluded therapies", but exact details on the latter are yet to be provided.
According to Government, Option B should deliver all facilities between 2027 and 2031 – with an acute hospital ready at Overdale by 2028. This is two years earlier than Option A, they said.
Overdale inpatient facility: It's hoped that planning permission will be achieved for the Overdale inpatient facility by the end of 2023, with construction starting in 2025, and the facility opening in 2028.
Gloucester Street outpatients facility: Work on the Kensington Place site – which was sold to Government by Andium Homes for £16m – could start in 2025 and be completed by 2027, with further phases across a three-year period starting in 2028 and finishing in 2031.
St. Saviour 'Health Village': Located on a field adjacent to Clinique Pinel, the 'village' could potentially provide services for mental health and dementia patients, in addition to acting as a 'step-down' facility for individuals leaving hospital. Design, procurement and planning is expected to take place between 2024 and 2026, with construction finishing mid-2028.
Meanwhile, work to create a new health facility on the premises of the former Les Quennevais School, which will be known as the Enid Quénault Health and Wellness Centre, remains in progress.
Under the previous 'Our Hospital' plan, a major expansion of Westmount Road to allow for increased traffic and the passing of emergency services vehicles was required.
As a result, the Bowls Club was told it would have to relocate.
Pictured: The Infrastructure Minister said that Option B does not involve the need to make changes to Westmount Road and the Jersey Bowls Club.
However, while 'Option B' still involves construction at Overdale, the Government said that changes to Westmount Road and the Bowls Club were no longer required.
The Minister for Infrastructure, Deputy Tom Binet, said that "it was obvious that Option B should be the one we follow".
While the Government previously said it was pursuing a more "affordable" option than the previous Our Hospital plan, it is yet to confirm a total estimated cost.
However, it has confirmed that the project will take place in stages over a number of years, which will affect how it is budgeted.
Pictured: Minister for Treasury and Resources, Deputy Ian Gorst said that States Members will be presented with the "most prudent means of delivering multi-site healthcare".
The Minister for Treasury and Resources, Deputy Ian Gorst said: “We are committed to ensuring that the plans we follow represent the best value for money for islanders and mitigate the financial risks of developing a single-site hospital with a single contractor.
“I will be working alongside Ministerial colleagues to ensure that the cost proposals brought to the Assembly in the Government Plan present States Members with the most prudent means of delivering multi-site healthcare and provide for the ongoing work on Jersey Health Estate.”
Express has made a request for the full feasibility study, but the Government has not yet released it.
Some rough mock-ups of blocks at Overdale and Kensington Place have also been developed, but these have not been made public at this stage.
There will now be a month of consultation with States Members, Scrutiny, the public, the residents of Overdale, Kensington Place and St. Saviour, patient groups, the third sector, and Health staff to confirm the Government's plans before the final feasibility study is presented to the States Assembly in July.
Funding for the first phase of the New Healthcare Facilities programme, expected to be the redevelopment of Overdale, will be debated as part of the Government Plan process in December.
Follow Express for updates, and more analysis in tomorrow's JEP...
Comments on this story express the views of the commentator only, not Bailiwick Publishing. We are unable to guarantee the accuracy of any of those comments.
Once your comment has been submitted, it won’t appear immediately. There is no need to submit it more than once. Comments are published at the discretion of Bailiwick Publishing, and will include your username.