'I'm sick to death of going completely around in a circle... we should be telling the public as soon as possible'
A SHORTLIST of potential hospital sites should be released as soon as possible, the Assistant Health Minister has said, admitting that he is ‘sick to death of going around in a circle’ with the project.
Deputy Hugh Raymond has called for officials to get on with the process and said ‘nothing has changed’ since initial feasibility studies were carried out – despite further consultations having been undertaken on potential sites.
In a final sweep for sites, the government asked the public for suggestions in December. Deputy Raymond described this at the time as a ‘paper job’.
A shortlist is expected to be announced in April, but the Assistant Health Minister has again criticised the lack of progress and believes there is no need to wait until then to announce potential sites.
He said: ‘I am sick to death of going completely around in a circle. There is set to be an announcement of the preferred sites at the end of April, but I think we should be telling the public as soon as possible.
‘The list is something like 64 sites. Sixty of those are most probably already built on, so there are only three or four reasonable sites.
‘Because of the make-up of the Island, we know it needs to be near St Helier and we just need to get on with it.
‘There were sites suggested three or four years ago, and nothing has changed. We are still in the same position we were back then.’
And Deputy Raymond said everyone was desperate to get things done as soon as possible, because of the millions being spent on keeping the existing Gloucester Street facility running.
He added: ‘In many ways the hospital is 75 to 80% done. We know what will go inside the hospital, such as which wards.
‘There are two questions to answer. How many beds will it have and where it will be? And we need to get on with saying what sites are being considered.’
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