Following his recent letter to Express examining the evidence backing the decision to build the new hospital at Overdale, former construction boss Steven Regal has now turned his eye to the cost of the building.
“May I thank you for printing my initial letter in your valued publication, I have received a thoughtful response from numerous individuals concerned, as am I about the process, not only of selection of the site for the new hospital but, in addition, regarding the costs of the proposed construction.
We are about to embark, quite correctly, upon one of the costliest, if not the most expensive capital projects the Island has ever undertaken. A cost that all Islanders both present and future shall have to contribute. As I previously remarked, the entire project is marked only by the lack of solid detail published in the public domain.
The level of debate thus far over this fundamental subject has been limited and the States Assembly has apparently failed to address or even question the cost of the project which, to the best of my knowledge and research has not been distributed in legible and comprehensible language.
Pictured: "We are about to embark, quite correctly, upon one of the costliest, if not the most expensive capital projects the Island has ever undertaken."
I therefore decided, in the vacuum that is the publicly available information, to undertake a little research into the costs of comparable hospital build on the UK mainland using formally published data from reputable and detailed documented sources.
Once again, I am hamstrung by the poor quality of the data published by the Government of Jersey however, I have tried to use my best endeavours to locate the information and to investigate and compare this to the limited publicised cost of our new Hospital. I concede that working with poor information can and generally shall lead to errors in comprehension however I attach a brief chart (see below) indicating comparable costings.
From the chart, it can be seen, in simple terms, that typical General Hospital Construction in the UK adjusted for inflation (from the data of the reports) and a calculation of Jersey on costs for varying factors indicates a guide cost in the region of £4,000 - £4800 per m2 however and depending upon the available information of the size of the proposed building(s) the costs to the Jersey Tax Payer range from just under £6,000 - £9,300 per m2. These differentials, if correct, are very significant and are singularly out of line with National Data.
Pictured: "The entire project is marked only by the lack of solid detail published in the public domain."
The chart indicates two differing outcomes. The first is the States Assembly do not possess sufficient information to make informed choices of how to spend Public funds and the second is the overall size of the hospital and thus the overall cost has no visible audit trail. For the record I can supply the source of my data for the chart should anyone request.
Please States Members consider this information prior to voting.
The large (too large) discrepancy in the figures arises as a result of the insufficient and somewhat contradictory information published by the States of Jersey."
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